THEATER ACTRESS MARIE BOCKEL IN COSTUME FOR “LA VIE” IN NEW YORK CITY (1884)

BOCKEL_0001This cabinet card features Miss Marie Bockel dressed in costume for her performance in “La Vie”. She was photographed by celebrity photographer Moreno. Moreno’s gallery was located in New York City. To view other photographs by Moreno, click on the category “Photographer: Moreno”. A stamp on the reverse of the image states “Russell Brothers, 126 Tremont Street, Boston”. Miss Bockel’s appearance in La Vie was announced in the New York Times (1884). “La Vie” was H. B. Farnie’s adaptation of Offenbach’s “La Vie Parisenne”. Marie Bockel also appeared in the New York Times (1884) when she appeared with the W. A. Mestayer Company in the performance of “We, Us, and Company of Mud Springs”. The show was described as a “wild musical farce” concerning the establishment of a sanitarium. The newspaper’s review of the show was favorable and it mentions that Miss Bockel sang the soprano parts in some of the quartets “very well”.

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PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN WINS THE LOTTERY IN NEW YORK CITY

MORENOA pretty young woman sits on a faux rock as she poses at the Moreno studio in New York City. She is holding what appears to be an envelope in her hand but at first glance looks like bank check. This fashionable subject is very thin waisted and present herself in what the photographs previous owner called “a fetching pose”.  Antonio E. Moreno was a Cuban painter and graphic artist who became a photographer after seeing the success of his New York based countryman, Jose Maria Mora (see category “Photographer: Mora”). In 1881, Moreno took over a failing New York City photographic studio. The business end of the studio was run by his co-director, Jose Lopez. Moreno developed the business into a great success due to his great talent as a photographer, developer and innovator. He became noted in photographic circles and received much acclaim from his participation in photographic expositions. He surrounded himself with talented co-workers. Much of his staff came from Mexico. Spanish cameraman Antonio Urda was considered to be excellent at his craft but was a fiery man who eventually committed suicide by drinking development fluid after failing to murder printer Domingo Costello. After this incident, Moreno preferred to hire English speaking Europeans to work at his studio. One of his hires was printer Nahum Lubosh whom he snared from celebrated photographer B. J. Falk (see category “Photographer: Falk”).  Another employee, cameraman A. L. Simpson pioneered the use of slides utilized in theater sing-alongs. In 1890 Moreno partnered with the Taber Art Company in publishing photographs of beautiful female models in what has been described as “genre scenes and allegories”. The photographs were well posed, precisely lit and very tasteful. Moreno’s gallery was in business for a quarter of a century and was a center for performing arts portraiture. One wonders if the subject of this cabinet card portrait was in fact a theater actress. To view other photographs by Moreno, click on the category “Photographer: Moreno”.