ETHEL BARRYMORE: STAGE BEAUTY

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Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an outstanding American actress and a member of the famous theatrical Barrymore family. She was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were actors and she was the sister of John and Lionel Barrymore.  She was the great aunt of modern day actress Drew Barrymore.

Ethel Barrymore was considered by many to be the greatest actress of her generation. She was a major Broadway performer and first appeared there in 1895. She had roles in A Dolls House by Ibsen (1905).  She was a strong supporter of the Actors’ Equity Association and played a major role in the 1919 strike. She played in Somerset Maugham’s comedy, The Constant Wife (1926). She also starred in motion pictures beginning her film career in 1914.  Notable films included None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Spiral Staircase (1946). Around 1900, Winston Churchill proposed marriage to Barrymore but she refused. She later married Russell Griswold Colt in 1909 and had three children. She died of cardiovascular disease in 1959 at her home in California. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City is named in her honor.

The top cabinet card portrait of Ethel Barrymore was photographed by Phillips Photographers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. The second cabinet card image of the actress was produced by Sarony, the famous celebrity photographer who’s studio was located in New York City. To see other Sarony photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.

The third portrait of Miss Barrymore appears on a postcard published by the Rotograph Company who operated in  New York City and Germany. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago photographer William Morrison. He is well known for his excellent portraits of theatrical stars. He produced both real photo postcards and cabinet cards. This postcard is number HB/1422 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image on this postcard is color tinted. This postcard has been mailed and postmarked (1907). The reverse of this postcard can be seen below.To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.

The fourth portrait of Ethel Barrymore is an uncommon one. The image provides a lovely profile view of this legendary actress. If you search for this exact postcard online, you likely won’t find it. This postcard was published by E. Frey & Company who operated in  New York City . Research reveals that postcards displaying the printed name of  “E. Frey” were actually published by the Souvenir Post Card Company which existed between 1905 and 1914. It was located at 268 Canal Street in New York City. The company was purchased by Valentine & Sons and the combined company became Valentine – Souvenir. This postcard was printed in Germany and is in good condition (see scan).                                                                                                                                     brrymore 1

PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY PHILADELPHIA FASHIONISTA

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The pretty woman in this cabinet card photograph certainly knew how to dress fashionably. To accentuate her beauty her hair is carefully styled and she is wearing jewelry. She has a solemn expression as she intensely stares at the photographer. The photographer of this wonderful portrait was A. Newman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To learn more about him and to view more of his photographs,  click on the category “Photographer: Newman”.

Published in: on December 10, 2015 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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JENNIE WINSTON: INTERCONTINENTAL COMIC OPERA ACTRESS

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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.

A MAN WITH AN OUTSTANDING MUSTACHE IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

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The gentleman is this cabinet card portrait has a wonderful mustache. It has been perfectly trimmed and maintained. He posed for this photograph at the studio of Oliver Boudnas De Morat which was located at the southwest corner of 8th and Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. De Morat was a pioneer photographer. An article in “Photographic Mosaics” (1867) makes mention of his endorsing a certain photographic product. He is also cited in “The Philadelphia Photographer” (1870). He is considered  to have been among the most prolific producers of cdv portraits. He was born in Montreal, Canada in 1836 and died in Philadelphia in 1902. To view photographs of unusual and interesting mustaches, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “Mustaches (Only the Best).

Published in: on February 13, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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YOUNG WOMAN’S GRADUATION PORTRAIT IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

PHILLIE GRAD LADYMeet Pauline Huber Ely. You are looking at what appears to be her graduation picture. She is wearing a fancy dress and holding a rolled scroll that is likely a diploma. She also has a hand fan at her side.The photographer is Husted & Company which was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Draper and Husted were partners in a studio during the 1860’s and 1870’s.  Joseph Husted was featured in a brief article in the American Journal of Photography (1887) which praised his child portrait work.

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Published in: on December 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN IN HIS SUNDAY BEST IN WEST PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

afr amer phildlpha_0002This cabinet card features an African American man posing for his portrait at the Prentzel & McCollin studio in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is likely dressed in his Sunday’s best for this photograph. Cabinet card portraits of African Americans are not commonplace. To view a collection of such images, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “African Americans”. One source identifies the photographers as Frank Prentzel and Carl J. McCollin. No confirmation could be located. In fact, research found several sources mentioning a cabinet card era photographer in Philadelphia named Thomas McCollin.

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Published in: on December 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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ANNA SARAH KUGLER MD: AN ACCOMPLISHED AND ADMIRABLE CITIZEN OF THE WORLD

dr anna kugle_0006It is not the quality of the image that makes this photograph special. This is a unique photograph because of the identity of the subject. Meet Dr. Anna S. Kugler. Anna Sarah Kugler (1856-1930) provided 47 years of service ministering to the spiritual and physical health of the people of southern India. She was the second female missionary and the first female medical missionary sent by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the United States. She was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1856. In 1879 she graduated from Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. She did her internship at Norristown State Asylum in 1880. Two years later, after receiving a cleric’s invitation to come work in India to help resolve the major health issues faced by poor Indian women, Kugler decided to take on the challenge. She sailed for India in 1883 and was disappointed that her appointment as a missionary was directed at teaching, not providing medical care. She hoped to change the church’s mind on that matter. During her first year in India she found time to see over 400 patients and still take care of her teaching responsibilities of the Muslim harem women. In 1884 she became the director of the Hindu Girls School, a post she kept for three years. Finally, in 1885, she was appointed a medical missionary. In 1893 she opened a hospital and dispensary in Guntur, India. Over time she established specialized pediatric, maternity, and surgical units in the hospital. After Kugler’s death, the hospital was named after her. Have you heard this quote? “Well behaved women seldom make history”. Women who went to medical school in the 1870’s were likely not considered well behaved because they were entering into a man’s profession. Going to India and working with the poor was also probably seen as outside the realm of being a woman. Thank goodness Dr Anna S Kugler ignored gender boundaries because she accomplished great things and certainly “made history”. This photograph was produced by the Phillips studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Mr. Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. Phillip’s subjects among his images in the Cabinet Card Gallery include theater great, Ethel Barrymore. At the time of this photograph, Phillips operated his studio at 1206 Chestnut Street. A biographer called Henry C. Phillips (1843-1911)  “A pillar of photography in Philadelphia”. He began working as a photographer while still in his teens. He opened his first studio on Chestnut Street in 1862. He partnered with Samuel Broadbent between 1868 and 1874. (To view other photographs by Broadbent, click on the category “Photographer: Broadbent). After that partnership and another brief one, he opened his 1206 Chestnut studio and it operated for 36 years under Henry and than his two sons, Howard and Ryland. Henry Phillips was a portrait artist and on the side, he was a celebrity photographer. He did not like to use painted backdrops in his portraits. He preferred to photograph faces and figures against neutral or blank backgrounds. Photographs from the studio that utilized painted backgrounds were usually the work of Ryland.

MRS JAMES BROWN POTTER (SOCIALITE AND THEATRE ACTRESS)

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In writing about Mrs James Brown Potter, an author stated “She was singularly beautiful with her pale delicate chiseled face, long dark eyes, and hair like burnished bronze with copper lights”. Mrs Brown Potter (1859-1936) was born Mary Cora Urquhart,  the daughter of a wealthy  New Orleans Colonel. She was one of the first American society women to join the stage. In 1877 she married a very wealth New York socialite, James Brown Potter. That same year she made her stage debut at Theatre Royal in Brighton, England. Soon thereafter, she partnered with actor Kyrle Bellew and they frequently performed together over a ten year period. She performed in the United States and in Europe. She retired from the stage in 1912. She was active in raising money for war charities during the Second Boer War. Mrs Brown Potter was considered a competent actress, but not an outstanding performer. In this photograph, Mrs. Potter looks very beautiful as she peers through a curtained doorway. Her gown was likely made by the best dress makers of the time and was assuredly very expensive. Falk, the photographer of this cabinet card, was a famous celebrity photographer in New York City. To see other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

The second photograph of Cora Potter was photographed by Kuebler of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She appears to be in costume and is clearly a beautiful woman with fetching eyes. To view other photographs by and to learn more about Kuebler, click on the category “Photographer: Kuebler”.

The third photograph of Mrs Potter was produced by Jose Maria Mora, a celebrity photographer based in New York City. The image was part of a series (#7). To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Mora”. Mrs Potter looks quite elegant in this cabinet card portrait. Her hat can best be described as “floral”. The photograph is stamped on the reverse with the name of the gallery that originally sold it (“John Hoch Art Store, 118 Court Street, Boston”). Hoch’s obituary appears in the Bulletin of Photography and the article reports that he was the first among Boston’s photographers to sell photographs of celebrities. He had been engaged in the photography and picture frame business in Boston for more than fifty years. The obituary mentions that he was of German heritage and was 84 years old at the time of his death. His cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage.

PRETTY WOMAN IN WHITE WITH LOTS OF BLING

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A curly haired woman in a white dress poses a bit provocatively in the studio of Chandler & Scheetz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She is radiating bling. Note the amount of jewelry that she is wearing. She has a brooch, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and a ring. She is appears to be holding a purse. To view other photographs by Chandler & Scheetz and to learn more about these photographers, click on the category “Photographer: Chandler & Scheetz”.

GENTLEMAN WITH A NOTABLE BEARD IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

phillie beard_0005Regular visitors to the Cabinet Card Gallery know that this writer has a bit of an obsession with photographs of interesting beards and mustaches. The fellow posing for this cabinet card earns a spot in the “Beards (Only the Best) category. You can view the beard collection by clicking on the aforementioned category. A. M. Gorman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, produced this image of an interesting looking gentleman. Research yielded some surprising information about the photographer. A. M. Gorman is a female photographer whose full name was Annie M. Gorman. She was listed as a photographer in the 1881 Philadelphia city directory. She also appears in the 1880 US census which lists her occupation as photographer. At the time of the census she was 36 years old and single. To view other women photographers, click on the category “Female Photographers”.

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