ELISE DE VERE: PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTIFUL SOUBRETTE BY REUTLINGER

Elise De Vere was indeed a very pretty woman and her pose in this image can be described as risque. She poses in this cabinet card photograph for famed celebrity photographer, Charles Reutlinger. Reutlinger’s studio was located at 21 Boulevard in Paris, France. The photograph was published in 1899.  Small print located at the bottom of the reverse of the card states R. Dechavannes. He may be in fact the actual photographer of the portrait. Perhaps the photograph was published by Reutlinger but not actually photographed by him. The facts concerning the role of Reutlinger and Dechavannes are not clear. To view other photographs by Dechavannes, click on the category “Photographer: Dechavannes”. To view other photographs by Reutlinger, click on the category “Photographer: Reutlinger”. Elise De Vere was an English actress/singer who performed in music halls and operas around 1900. The previous year she had won second place in a beauty contest at the Paris Olympia Theatre. She was described at the contest as a “Chanteuse Excentrique”  (Eccentric Singer). Around 1900 she was a stage diva in Europe and America. In 1903-1904 she performed in the Flo Ziegfeld Broadway opera “Red Feather” which played at the Lyrical Theatre and then the Grand Opera Theatre. In announcing De Vere’s arrival in America to play in “Red Feather”,  The New York Times (1903) writes that although she was a Parisienne, she spoke excellent English (shouldn’t have been a surprise, she was English). The article added that De Vere had recently learned to sing in German. In a later article, the New York Times (1903) labelled De Vere as a “Soubrette” in the “Red Feather”. A soubrette is a stock character in opera or theatre. A soubrette is frequently a comedic character who is often portrayed as vain, girlish, mischievous, gossipy and light hearted.

NELLIE AND MINNIE MAUS POSE FOR THEIR PORTRAIT IN LAKE ODESSA, MICHIGAN (MICKEY COULD NOT POSE DUE TO CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS WITH THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY)

Meet Nellie and Minnie Maus as they pose for their portrait at the studio of S. D. Joy in Lake Odessa, Michigan. It is uncertain which of these children is Nellie and which is Minnie because the person who wrote their names on the back of the photograph failed to include their ages or other identifying information. The baby in this image is sitting in a very ornate pram. To view other turn of the century  baby carriages, click on the category “Baby Carriages”.  Unfortnately, Mickey Maus was unavailable when this cabinet card was produced. One can only assume that he was in California for a movie shoot or else he was bound by contractual obligations to not appear in any photographs except those published by the Walt Disney Company. Unfortunately, no biographical information about the Maus girls could be uncovered. The photographer, Sherman D. Joy appears in the 1930 census where he is listed as a 62 year-old photographer. He was married to Etta V. Joy.

BESPECTACLED YOUNG GIRL POSES WITH BOOKS AND STEREOSCOPE IN NORWICH, NEW YORK (1887)

The young girl posing in this photograph has the appearance of a very intellectual child. She is standing next to two books atop a table and her hand rests upon a stereoscope. She is wearing a pair of glasses. The girl is identified on the reverse of the photograph as Sema Sage, age 12. The photograph was published in 1887.Stereoscopes were a popular way to view photographs in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A popular later version was invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.. Stereoscopes are used to view stereographic cards. These cards have two separate images printed side by side. When viewing these images through the stereoscope, the focal points becomes more distant, the card image is magnified allowing the viewer to see more detail, and the resulting image is 3-D. This portrait cabinet card was taken by Alston E. Hotchkiss of Norwich, New York. To view other photographs by Hotchkiss, click on the category “Photographer: Hotchkiss”.

TWO YOUNG WOMEN SHARE A FAN IN NEWPORT, PENNSYLVANIA

Two young women pose for their portrait in Newport, Pennsylvania. Both women are grasping one end of a fan that they hold behind their heads. Their raised arms highlight their hour glass figures which are given an assist by the corsets they are wearing. The photographer is named William Easter Lenney. He was located in Newport in the early 1890’s and moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he became a well known portrait photographer between 1894 and 1920. He and his family then moved to California.

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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LITTLE GIRL IN A FIELD OF DAISIES IN BARABOO,WISCONSIN

A cute little girl with curly hair poses in a studio created field of daisies for photographer Sim Mould. The studio was located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The girl is wearing a dress wth a lace collar and has a flower pinned to the front of her dress. An inscription on the reverse of the cabinet card indicates that the child’s name is Hattie Acot. Unfortunately, no biographical information could be found about her. The photographer, Mr. Mould is mentioned in a number of photographic journals. He placed an ad for his studio in a book about Sauk County, Wisconsin (1891).  (more…)

WEDDING GROUP PHOTOGRAPH IN CLARINDA, IOWA

This cabinet card appears to be a photograph of a wedding group. One would suspect that the bride is the woman in the white gown. She is seated and holding an umbrella. The most likely candidate for groom is the fellow standing behind the bride. The bride is certainly better dressed than the groom. For some unknown reason, the brides  purse was placed on the floor in front of her. What was the photographer thinking? He did an excellent job of posing the six individuals in the wedding group and than detracts from the image by leaving the purse on the floor in the center of the photograph. This  photographer has a history of making similar posing mistakes. To view an example of another one of his poorly posed photographs, click on the category “Photographer O. H. Park. Note the man sitting on the left of the bride. He is holding something that looks like a pin wheel or a small fan. Perhaps a Cabinet Card Gallery visitor can more confidently identify the object. This photograph was taken at Park’s studio in Clarinda, Iowa. Clarinda was founded in 1851. It is written that outlaw Jesse James passed through Clarinda a number of times. The town was named for Clarinda Buck. Legend states that Ms. Buck carried water to the first surveyors of the area. The name “Alice” is written on the reverse of the photograph. “Alice” is likely the name of the bride.

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (5)  
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DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

The photographic studio of  Heald and Giles produced this portrait of a distinguished older gentleman. The man is wearing a nicely groomed graying beard and mustache. He is displaying a serious expression on his face. Research reveals that Mr. Heald had a number of partners during his photography career. Among the names he operated his business under was Wright and Heald, and Heald and Erickson. The law journal, “Open Jurist” and several other turn of the century law journals, cite Mr. Heald in an important legal case. The case was “Corlis et. al. versus E. W. Walker Company et. al. (1894). Emily Corlis sued the Walker Company for inserting a portrait (photographed by Heald) of George H. Corlis in a biographical sketch about to be published. A photograph of the late Mr. Corlis had been submitted to the company by Emily Corlis but she had withdrawn her permission for them to use it after they had not complied with some of her demands. The Walker Company returned the photograph to her but then turned to Mr. Heald and purchased a copy of an original photograph Heald had taken of George Corlis. Emily Corlis was outraged and took Walker to court. The general policy of the courts, based on precedence. was that negatives of photographs belonged to photographers but the right to print negatives belonged to the customer (subject of the photograph).   The court in this case, however, ruled that this case was an exception to precedence because the rule applies only to “private persons”, and not “public characters”. The court stated that Mr. Corlis was a “public character” because of his status as the inventor of the Corlis Engine. It seems that his portrait had already appeared in a number of magazines and other publications. Stated simply, pubic characters had no right to privacy. In addition, the court stated that Walker could not be sued because  he was not the photographer. Only the photographer had a contractual obligation not to publish the subjects photograph without consent from the subject. To view the work of another photographer involved in an interesting court case  related to the business of photography, and to learn about that case, click on the category “Photographer: Rugg”.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON: HILLSBORO WISCONSIN HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM (1900-1901)

This photograph features the Hillsboro High School  basketball team. The team proudly poses with a trophy basketball marking their championship season of 1900-1901. The name “Bob” is written above the second boy to the left in the back row. Could any of these boy been future Wisconsin Badger basketball players? It is certainly a possibility that one of these guys may have played college basketball with the Badgers. The Wisconsin Badger basketball program played their first game in 1899. In 1906-1907 season they won their first share of a Big Ten championship.The likely photographer of this image is Earle D. Akin. The town of Hillsboro was named for early settler Valentia Hill and his brothers. They arrived in the area beginning  in 1850. Many of the earliest settlers were of German descent. They were followed by many Czech settlers and in fact, Hillsboro was known as the “Czech Capital of Wisconsin”. When the town was settled, it did not take much time for a saw mill to arrive, followed by stores , a blacksmith, a hotel, and a school, as well as a grist mill established  along the Barabee River. In the 1880’s dairy farms and a creamery began business in Hillsboro.

Published in: on April 23, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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ATTRACTIVE FAMILY IN PRAGUE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA (PORTRAIT BY LANGHANS)

This cabinet card features an attractive family posing for their portrait at the studio of J. F. Langhans in Prague, Czechlosvakia. Mother, father, and their two sons are all beautifully dressed. Father appears to be small of stature and looks quite austere with his hands folded across his chest and his stern facial expression. The children in this photograph seem significantly more relaxed than their parents. Take note of the style of father’s eye glasses Jan Langhans (1851-1926) is the best known figure in Czech photography and his gallery is still in existence. There is a wealth of information about Langhans online at the  “Langhans Archive”. The site provides biographical and historical information as well as the “Gallery of Personalities”. The gallery has photographs of many prominent Czech citizens as well as well known visitors to Czechoslovakia.. These portraits date from 1890 through 1948. The studio was founded by Jan Langhans, who was a food chemist by training but developed a passion for photography. He opened his first studio in 1876 and was the preeminent portrait photographer of the region. He opened a number of branch studios throughout Czechoslovakia. He photographed many celebrities and aristocrats. After World War I the gallery possessed over a million negatives. He gave the studio to his daughter Marie and her husband Viktor Meisner.  After World War II, his grandson Viktor Meisner took over the studio. In 1948, soon after the Communist take-over, the studio was nationalized and most of the negatives were destroyed. Fortunately, more negatives were discovered and they comprise the Gallery’s current collection. To view other photographs by Langhans, click on the category “Photographer: Langhans”.

Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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STYLISH MOTHER AND HER TWO CHILDREN IN BERLIN, GERMANY

A beautifully dressed young woman and two children pose for a family portrait at the studio of C. Gunteritz, in Berlin, Germany. The young woman is likely the mother of the two children, although it is possible that she could be their older sister. The little girl is holding a basket of flowers and her younger brother has a toy rabbit on his lap. The young woman’s dress is made of material that is not commonly seen in cabinet card  photographs. Hopefully, a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will be able to identify the dress’s material.

Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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