JENNIE WINSTON: INTERCONTINENTAL COMIC OPERA ACTRESS

gambier

The top cabinet card features early theatre actress, Jennie Winston. Unfortunately, biographical information concerning Ms. Winston appears to be sparse, and further research is necessary. An 1881 publication reveals that Jennie Winston was a native of Scotland and moved to Australia to join W. S. Lyster’s Italian Opera company. Her tenure with this company was seven years. She next went ot America under engagement to “Mr Maguire”, for whom she worked for one season’s duration. She then formed her own traveling opera company which journeyed to the western United States and British Columbia. The “Dramatic News” described Winston as “unsurpassed as a comic-opera artist by anyone in this country”. The photographer of this portrait was the studio belonging to Gilbert & Bacon. This studio was well known for their quality work as well as their work with local and visiting celebrities. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category of “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

The second photograph, also by Gilbert & Bacon, captures a costumed Jennie Winston playing the mandolin. Note the backdrop  used in this photograph. The backdrop was an excellent choice for the photograph as it is compatible with Ms. Winston’s costume. It was also a good choice technically; the actress does realistically appear to be standing on a winding stone road.

The third photographic portrait features a sultry looking Jennie Winston, and is by celebrated photographer, Marc Gambier (1838-1900). The fourth cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Gambier. Miss Winston is in costume for an unnamed theatrical performance. She is acting in the portrait. Note her provocative and coy appearance. Gambier was born and educated in Paris, France. At the age of 19, he came to America for a very short stint of time. He returned to France and became a student of the great painter, Le Creton. Subsequently, he became a student of another great painter, Camino. He then returned to America and for five years, studied and worked under esteemed photographer, Sarony (view Sarony’s photographs by clicking on the category “Photographer: Sarony”). He then launched his own photography business in New York City. He divided his time between his first love, painting, and his business of taking and selling photographs. Gambier was known as a great historical painter. He was a veteran of the French Army and while in the service, he sketched and painted several important battles. Research reveals that Gambier was listed in the 1880 US census. He was forty-one years old and living in New York City with his family. He is listed as living with his wife Emilie (age 28), daughters Louise (age 10) and Emilie (age 7), and son M. L. (age 2). Also in the residence was a young woman (age 25) who worked as a servant. Gambier was known for the many theatrical photographs he produced as well as for selling postage stamp sized portrait photographs, that people attached to their letters and postcards.

PORTRAIT OF THE SHELTON FAMILY IN BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

The Shelton family poses for their family portrait at the studio of Poul C. Poulsen in Brisbane, Australia. The photographer appears to have provided the family with props to use in this photograph. The bespectacled Mr Shelton reads to his daughter as she sits on his lap. A second daughter sits in a miniature chair and is holding an open magazine. The eldest daughter (on the far right side of the image) holds a fan that features the image of a pretty woman. Fans such as this, frequently had images of famous actresses of the era. Mrs Shelton has a handkerchief on her lap while another daughter is holding flowers. In the back center of the photograph is the Shelton’s young adult aged son who has his arms folded across his chest and a look of disinterest on his face. Poul Christensen Poulsen (1857-1925) was born in Denmark and arrived in Sydney in 1876. In 1882 he moved to Queensland and opened a photographic studio a few years later. He was later joined by brothers and sisters from Denmark. He opened branches of his studio in other Queensland towns. In 1898 he was appointed the Danish Consul at Brisbane. Over the years, his sons and grandsons entered the photography business. There is evidence on this particular cabinet card that dates it somewhere between 1894 and 1898. The studio located in the town of Gympie that is listed in the advertising on the front of this card, existed between 1894 and 1898.

WOMAN IN CHAINS (STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA)

This cabinet card features a woman in chains. The previous sentence, and the title of this blog entry, may be misleading because the woman isn’t exactly in chains; instead, she is wearing a chain necklace. Don’t you hate those sensational headlines that are aimed to manipulate you to watch a particular news show, or read a certain newspaper? Sorry! This lady’s name is “Emmie” according to a notation on the reverse of the cabinet card. She is thin, pretty and curly haired. The chain she is wearing has a pin attached to her collar and also has a charm or locket. Ironically, the charm resembles a  modern day pet identification tag. This image was photographed by Batchelder of Stockton, California. Perez Mann Batchelder (1818-1873) was a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer active in a number of areas in California, including Sonora, Stockton, Vallecito, Murphy’s Camp, and Mokelumne Hill. He also operated studios in Melbourne, Australia (he followed the gold rush occurring down under) and Boston, Massachusetts. He worked in all of these locales over a short period of time. He clearly did not let moss grow under his feet. Batchelder with his brothers Nathaniel, Freeman, and Benjamin Pierce founded a daguerreian dynasty which in the 1850’s and 1860’s established dozens of galleries on both coasts of the United States and in Australia. Batchelder travelled incessantly and operated many enterprises simultaneously. He was born in Massachusetts and entered photography as a career in 1844. The book, “Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary” (2000) was the source of much of the information about Perez Batchelder.

DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

This cabinet card is a portrait of a nicely dressed older gentleman with a bushy mustache. The gentleman appears quite distinguished and may have been part of the elite of San Francisco. The Rieman and Tuttle Studio produced this cabinet card. George B. Rieman and William Nutting Tuttle (1844-1895) became partners in 1879. The first three letters of Mr Tuttle’s middle name seems to have described his personality. He appears to have been a vagabond photographer; working in a number of studios and having multiple business partners in the years proceeding his venture with Rieman. In 1880, Tuttle left his family in Oakland and sailed to Australia to start anew. Tuttle’s wife, Belle, went to Australia to try to convince her husband to return to California. Her efforts were fruitless. Although Tuttle’s photography studios were very successful and he prospered in Australia, he didn’t support his family back in the United States. He stayed abroad until his death in 1895. The Cabinet Card Gallery has some photographs related to this image. To see other terrific mustaches, click on the category “Mustaches (Only the Best). To view other photographs by Rieman, and to learn more about his life,  click on the category “Photographer: Rieman”.

EIGHT ATHLETIC LOOKING BLOKES IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

This cabinet card is a portrait of eight very athletic looking men. The men are dressed very similarly. Their pants appear to be identical and they each are wearing a wide white belt around their waists. The image presents a number of questions. Are these Aussie blokes wearing a uniform? Are they members of  a sports team? Are they wearing work clothing and all share the same occupation? Hopefully some Cabinet Card Gallery visitors will leave a comment that gives their opinion as to the answers to the aforementioned questions.  The photographer of this image is Herbst of Sydney, Australia. He is mentioned in a number of Sydney newspapers published in the 1890’s.  Advertisements for his studio appear in the newspapers, and there is mention of some of the notables he photographed.

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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