LETTICE FAIRFAX: THEATRE ACTRESS (PRETTY THE WAY AN ENGLISH GARDNER’S DAUGHTER IS PRETTY)

Lettice Fairfax, an English actress, is the subject of this cabinet card. Her first stage appearance in America was at Daly’s Theater in New York City. She had a role in “Number Nine” in December of 1897. The reviewer in the New York Times wrote that she was “a pretty, fragile and very nervous” actress. He also labelled her the “new ingenue” and reported that she was pretty the way an English Gardner’s daughter is pretty. I guess that means that she was pretty in “the girl next door”  kind of way.  The photographer of this cabinet card was famed theatre photographer, B. J. Falk and the photograph  is copyrighted in 1898. The reverse of the cabinet card is stamped “Charles L Ritzmann” of Broadway, New York.

ROSE LEMOINE: PRETTY THEATER ACTRESS AND POSSIBLE MODEL FOR THE “GIBSON GIRL”

ROSE LEMOINETheater actress Rose Lemoine is the subject of this Cabinet Card photographed by the Dana studio of New York. The photograph was part of the Charles L. Ritzmann collection. Ritzmann was a famous importer of theatrical photographs. The attractive Ms Lemoine was thought by some to be the model or the “Gibson Girl”. This upset some Americans because Lemoine was from Cuba, not the United States and the “Gibson Girl” was illustrator Charles Dana’s personification of the feminine ideal. The “Gibson Girl” was a popular figure for twenty years (about 1890-1910). Lemoine’s mother was Cuban and her father was a French coffee planter. In 1903, the New York Times mentions Lemoine as appearing in a Broadway play called “The Best of Friends”. Also appearing in that play was Lionel Barrymore and Agnes Booth.

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