PORTRAIT OF GERTRUDE BONNETTE: PRETTY FRENCH STAGE ACTRESS

This vintage real photo postcard features French stage actress Gertrude Bonnette. Initial research revealed no information about this pretty theater actress. Bonnette was photographed by the well known celebrity photographer Jacob Schloss (1856-1938) of New York City. Schloss was will known for his portraits of beautiful woman. He was also known as a photographer activist for working hard to gain certain rights for photographers. This photo postcard is published by Societe Industrielle de Photograpie (SIP) of Rueil, France and is part of a series (76 Serie no. 15).

PORTRAIT OF PRETTY THEATER ACTRESS AND PLAYWRIGHT GRACE HEYER (PHOTOGRAPHER: JACOB SCHLOSS)

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This cabinet card portrait features stage performer and playwright Grace Heyer. The Internet Broadway Data Base lists Miss Heyer as performing in eleven Broadway shows. Her “Great White Way” career began with “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1900) and ended with “Great Gatsby” (1926). Her photo appears in Munsey’s Magazine (1899) and she is credited with appearing in “The Wife”. Her portrait also appears in Theatre Magazine (1904) where she is described as a “young emotional actress” who has headed her own theater company. The Greenback Magazine (1914) describes Heyer as a “formerly well known actress” whose new play “The Philosopher” was to be introduced by the “Liebler Company”. Miss Heyer looks quite beautiful in this cabinet card image. The photograph is subtly provocative. The profile portrait reveals her partially bare back and her bare neck and in the image her expression can be described as being sultry. This photograph was taken by celebrity photographer Jacob Schloss (1856-1938) in his Manhattan studio. Schloss received his education at the Cooper Union in New York City. He graduated in 1872 as an etcher. He joined Benjamin J. Falk’s photography studio and worked there in the mid 1870’s. He left Falk’s employ to open his own studio (54 West 23rd Street) where like Falk, he specialized in theatrical photography. He tended to favor photographing actresses in costume in front of generic studio furnishings. He produced many cabinet card photographs but also was active in the production of magazine images. By the 1890’s he was particularly known for his photographs of beautiful women, much like photographer Jose Maria Mora. Schloss also was an activist for photographers rights. He was very involved in the movement to copyright images. He sued those who used his photographs without crediting or paying him. He was very involved in national photographer associations and was an active photographer until the 1910’s. To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Schloss”.

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Published in: on May 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS VILLA KNOX IN ROLE OF DAISY BLOSSOM (PHOTOGRAPH BY JACOB SCHLOSS)

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This cabinet card has a lot to say. First, the photograph features an actress named Villa Knox. She appeared in productions in the United States, England, and probably a number of other places. She acted in at least two Broadway shows. She appeared in the musical comedy “Boccaccio” (1898) and in “Apollo, or, The Oracle of Delphi” (1891). Second, the photographer of this image is the well known celebrity photographer, Jacob Schloss. At the time that this photograph was taken, the Schloss studio was located at 467 and 469 Fifth Avenue, between 40th and 41st Streets in New York City.. To view more of his photographs click on the category “Photographer: Schloss”. A third aspect of this photograph is that it has the pencilled name “Daisy Blossom” on the front of the card. Thanks to a little luck in my research, I learned that “Daisy Blossom” is a character in a play called “London Day by Day” (1893) which was reviewed by The Sydney Mail. This portrait likely captures Miss Knox in costume for that roleThe fourth interesting fact about this image is the stamp appearing on the front of the card that states “Vignettes All Around For Segar Label”. It appears that this photograph was used as a vignette photograph for a cigar box label. The last feature I will mention concerning this image is that it has all the signs of once residing in someones photograph album. The cabinet card truly tells a number of stories and is in good condition.

 

Published in: on March 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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THEATER ACTRESS: MABEL POTTER PHOTOGRAPHED BY SCHLOSS IN NEW YORK CITY

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Celebrity photographer Jacob Schloss captures actress Mabel Potter in this cabinet card portrait. For the time period, Miss Potter is assuming a rather risque position. Schloss operated his studio in New York City. This cabinet card holds a copyright from 1894. To view other photographs by Schloss, click on the category “Photographer: Schloss”. The New York Times (1892) has a brief article with the theatrical news that Miss Potter was about to appear in “The Vice Admiral” which was a “nautical comedy” scheduled to run at the Casino Theater. A photograph of Potter, very similar to the one above (likely taken at the same sitting), appears in Munsey’s Magazine (1895). Schloss is given credit as the photographer. It is announced that she was appearing in “Little Christopher Columbus” as one of Captain Slammer’s daughters. The article adds that she first appeared on the stage four years earlier with the McCaull Company in “Boccaccio” at Palmer’s Theater.

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THEATER ACTRESS NETTY HUNTER IN RISQUE POSE (1895)

This cabinet card features a pretty young woman in a risque pose. She is identified on the reverse of the image as Netty Hunter. The previous owner of this portrait reported that Miss Hunter was a theater actress but a search found no evidence to support the notion that she had a stage career. In fact, no biographical information could be found about her. The photographer of this image was Jacob Schloss. Schloss photographed many theater celebrities from his studio in New York City. A notation on the lower left corner of the image shows that the copyright date of this photograph is 1895.  A fading stamp on the back of this cabinet card indicates that it was formerly part of a collection belonging to Charles L. Ritzman (943 Broadway, New York City) who collected among other things, photographs of theater actors and actresses.  In sum, although there is evidence that Netty Hunter was a theater actress; the evidence is not conclusive.

KATE CLAXTON: STAGE ACTRESS ASSOCIATED WITH DEADLY THEATRE FIRE

Kate Claxton (1848-1924) is the subject of this cabinet card portrait. Claxton was an American stage actress who made her first appearance in Chicago with Lotta Crabtree in 1870. That same year she joined Augustin Daly’s Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York. In 1872, she became a member of A. M. Palmer’s Union Square Theatre in New York. She played mostly in comedic roles. She began starring in theatrical tours in 1876. In 1876 she was performing the play “The Two Orphans” at the Brooklyn Theatre (in New York City) when a fire broke out killing 278 people. Soon after the tragic fire, she was in a St. Louis hotel when it caught fire and she made a narrow escape. After the two fires, Claxton was viewed by some audiences and theater professionals, as bad luck and a performer to be avoided.  There are some interesting asides about Claxton. First, the town of Claxton, Georgia was named after her in 1911, Second, her father was Colonel Spencer W. Cone, who was the commander of the 61st New York Regiment in the American Civil War. This cabinet card was photographed by Schloss, a famous New York celebrity photographer. To view other photographs by Schloss, click on this site’s category “Photographer: Schloss”. The reverse of this card has a hand written notation stating “Empire Theatre”. Perhaps this photograph captures Kate Claxton in costume for a role she played at the Empire. The second cabinet card captures Claxton sitting on the ground during a snow storm. The staged scene in this image is likely from one of Claxton’s performances. This photograph is by Sarony, famed New York City photographer. To view other images by Sarony, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Sarony”.

STAGE STAR, DOROTHY DONNELLY IN “SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE” (1902)

Dorothy (Agnes) Donnelly (1880-1928) was an actress, lyricist, and a librettist. She was the daughter of the manager of New York City’s Grand Opera House. She made her acting debut in the stock company of her brother, Henry V. Donnelly at the Murray Hill Theatre in New York City. She became a well known performer in 1903 when she played title roles in Yeat’s “Kathleen ni Houlihan” and Shaw’s “Candida” in their first American performances. Her most celebrated performance was in the title role of “Madame x” (1910). She acted for another decade but after the success of her book and lyrics for Sigmund Romberg’s adaptation of Schubert’s melodies in “Blossom Time” (1921), she gave up performing and concentrated on her writing. Donnelly was married to Sigmund Romberg. The photographer of this cabinet card was celebrity photographer, Schloss. The photograph captures Donnelly in costume for “Soldiers of Fortune” (1902); so the image is a portrait representing the very early part of her theatrical career. The cabinet card comes from the Oral M. Heffner Theatrical Collection and was formerly the property of the Franklin County Historical Society. To learn more about the Heffner collection, click on the Cabinet Card Gallery category of “Oral M. Heffner Theatrical Collection”.

Published in: on March 3, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  

MARY MANNERING: THEATRE STAR

Mary Mannering (1875-1953), stage star,  is featured in this cabinet card photograph by Schloss of New York City, New York.  Mary Mannering was born in London, England. She had her theatrical debut in Manchester in 1892. Daniel Frohman, theatrical producer and manager, convinced her to come to New York in 1896. She was quite successful in America. She played leading roles in romantic comedies and dramas for more than a decade. After appearing in 19 Broadway plays, she retired at the peak of her popularity, after playing in the “Garden of Allah” (1911). The  photographer,  Schloss was a well known New York City photographer who was famous for his portraits of theatrical stars.

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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