PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS BELLA MOORE IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

bella moore_0011This cabinet card portrait features singer, dancer, actress Bella Moore. She is wearing lace and a nice cap and smile.During her stage career she was also known as Mrs Fred Vokes (to learn more about the Vokes family, use the search box to search for Fred’s sister, actress “Rosina Vokes”). An ad placed in Harry Miner’s American Directory for the Season 1884-1885 (1884), contains rave reviews of Miss Moore from Cincinnati and Louisville newspapers. The ad also advertised a play named “A Mountain Pink”. Miss Moore was starring in the play which was appearing in Cincinnati. This cabinet card was photographed by the studio of Baker & Potter in Columbus, Ohio. Baker may be one of the principals of  the Baker Art Gallery. To view other photographs by Baker, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.   The reverse of this cabinet card advertises that copies of the photograph could be obtained for 25 cents by mail.

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BEAUTIFUL BUSTY WOMAN IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

The Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, Ohio, produced this portrait of a pretty and busty young woman. A corset likely assists her wasp waist and lovely figure. Apparently, she is well aware of her beauty and capitalizes on it with a “come hither” expression. Take note of her interesting hat; its truly a work of art. The Cabinet Card Gallery has a number of images from the Baker Art Gallery. To view these images and to learn more about the Baker studio, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.

 

TWO PORTRAITS OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

The same woman appears in each of these two photographs by the Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, Ohio. The woman is very pretty. She is wearing a black bow in her hair in both photographs and in the profile portrait she is wearing a hair comb. There is a lot of bare skin in these photographs which make them a bit risque, though tastefully done. The Cabinet Card Gallery is building a nice collection of photographs from the Baker Art Gallery. To view these images, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.

TWO PRETTY YOUNG WOMEN: SISTERS WEARING LEATHER CAPS IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

This cabinet card features two attractive young women, obviously sisters, posing in white clothing and wearing dark leather caps. What is the story concerning the caps? The headwear is certainly quite unusual to be seen in a photograph from this era. Are the caps part of an occupational uniform? One wonders if the caps are driving caps, but the automobile was likely not around all that long when this photograph was taken. Any theories about the hats would be welcome from cabinet card gallery visitors. Please leave a comment with your theories. This cabinet card was photographed by the Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, Ohio. To learn more about the gallery and to view other photographs by the Baker’s, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.

MADAM NAOMI: SIDE SHOW FAT LADY (562 POUNDS) OFFERS ESPECIALLY LARGE DOWRY TO PROCURE A HUSBAND

This cabinet card features Madam Naomi, who appears to have been a side show “fat lady”. The term “fat lady” is a despicable and derogatory way of describing someone overweight; yet the term found common use at circuses and fairs of the era of this photograph. Pencilled on the reverse of this image  is the information that Madame Naomi was born in Michigan and at the time of the photograph, she was 30 years old. A further “fact” provided is that her arms had a circumference of 27 inches.  Madam Naomi is not looking too comfortable in this portrait. She is wearing an interesting hat and one would guess that it would take her a long time to button all those buttons on the front of her dress. The newspaper The Weekly Statement (1890) has an article about a Madam Naomi appearance in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The article states that Naomi was advertised to appear in a museum and to “bestow her hand, heart, oleaginous sweetness, and a deed to a $5,000 farm to any young man who would marry her”. The offer was accepted by an insurance man from New York, Thomas J. Crowley; who came to Fort Bend and joined her on the museum stage to accept her hand in marriage. The photographer of this image is Baker, whose studio was located in Columbus, Ohio. There were many photographers named Baker operating out of Columbus when this photograph was taken. Many of the Bakers were relatives who operated the Baker Art Gallery. It is not clear which Baker or which studio is the source of this image. However, the initials below the photograph appear to be “LMB” which would indicate that the photographer was Lorenzo Marvin Baker (1834-1924).L. M. Baker was  part of the Baker Art Gallery family. To view other photographs by the Baker Art Gallery, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.

MADAME BUTTERFLY AND HER SIDEKICK

This Cabinet Card is an image of two very interestingly dressed young women. Are they going to a costume party or are they just making a fashion statement? Madame Butterfly has butterflies affixed all over herself. She has butterflies atop her head, as well as on her chest, skirt and shoes. Is that a butterfly purse she is holding? The second woman is wearing gloves and holding a cane. She also has an interesting rope belt and an unusual necklace and hat. The photographer of the cabinet card is likely the Baker Art Gallery located on the corner of State and High Streets in Columbus, Ohio. The studio was founded by Lorenzo Marvin Baker who began working as a photographer in the early 1860’s and established the Baker Art Gallery in 1886. Four generations of the family ran the gallery until 1955. Many of their photographs and materials are now held by the Ohio Historical Society. To view other photographs by Baker, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.