TWO YOUNG GIRLS AND A PIANO IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

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Two young girls pose in front of a piano in a nicely decorated parlor. Both girls are wearing light dresses. The standing girl has long hair and is wearing a hair bow. She is also holding flowers. The second girl is sitting on the piano bench and is also wearing a hair bow. She is adorned in an unusual necklace as well as a bracelet. The piano room is decorated in an interesting fashion. There is open sheet music on the piano and above the piano there are some framed photographs. The photographer did an excellent job of creating a warm image that is truly pleasing to the eye. A stamp on the reverse of the photograph reveals that the photographer’s name was Higgins and that his studio was located in Kansas City, Missouri. The photograph is mounted on very hard stock paper and is trimmed. It’s measurements are 3 3/4″x 5 1/2″.

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Published in: on February 28, 2017 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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GRADUATION PICTURE OF YOUNG WOMAN IN EAST SUMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS

A young girl in a fancy dress poses for her graduation portrait. She is holding a rolled diploma which is pressed against the keyboard of a piano. There are scattered books atop the piano. A ribbon hangs over the books and the ribbon has lettering on it. Magnification indicates that part of the wording says “Class of 1887” and has a drawing of a building on it (is the building a school?). The photographer of the image is B. F. Freeman whose studio was located At 42 Broadway in East Somerville, Massachusetts. Freeman was listed as a photograher in the Somerville City Directory (1883) and the New England Business Directory (1889).

Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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THE SHEPARD FAMILY CONCERT COMPANY

This cabinet card features a portrait of the Shepard Family Concert Company. In this photograph, mother is playing the piano (or organ) and the five children and their father are playing violins. The photographer of this cabinet card is unknown, as is the location of the studio. A photograph of the Shepard family and their instruments appears in The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont (located in Middlebury, Vermont). In addition, the museum possesses a “cigar ribbon quilt” serving as a piano cover. The quilt is made from silken advertising ribbons which cigar companies used to tie cigars together for packaging purposes. This particular quilt was made by Mary Emily Shepard (“Minnie”), the matriarch of the Shepard Family. The Shepard Family was Massachusetts based, and mostly toured upper New England. The musical group venues included the Town Hall Theatre, in Middlebury, Vermont. Family Musical Troupes were popular in the 1880’s and 1890’s.  Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Shepard  and their children, Kittie, Laura, Lessie, Georgie, and Burtin were regionally well known and appreciated in the late nineteenth century. Each family member were multi instrumentalists. The family could perform as a choral group, a brass band, or a violin ensemble with the mother playing the pump reed organ. In addition, sometimes, the children would perform as a banjo quintet.

MASTER R. DEMARST: PIANO BOY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

This Cabinet Card captures young Master R. Demarst sitting at a piano in the studio of W. J. Root, in Chicago, Illinois. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph indicates that the boy musician was six years old at the time the image was produced. He is very well dressed in his velvet suit. He is wearing a ring on his right middle finger. The photographer’s studio was located at 243-253 Wabash Avenue, in Chicago. The back stamp on the reverse of the card states that Root’s studio was located in Kimball Hall. When Root began his business, he took souvenir photographs at the Worlds Columbian Exposition of 1893. He is mentioned in various photographic journals from 1892 until 1897. To view other photographs by Root, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer:  Root.”   Thanks to the amazing research department of the Cabinet Gallery (see comments), additional identifying information about the young boy in this photograph has been discovered. In the book, “Musical Instruments at the World’s Columbian Exposition: A Review (1895), it is noted that Master Rubinstein Demarest, aged 5, won the love of all who met him. He appeared at the Exposition and “his piano playing was almost marvelous considering his youth”. The boy was a native of St. Paul, Minnesota where he was regarded as a protege of great promise.