Home / Performers / Anna Held (Flo's 1st Wife, Stage, ZF) / Anna Held - Cabinet Card Gallery_profdash [44]


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Anna Held Cabinet Card Gallery_profdash
by David for group historicalziegfeld Jun 11, 2012

Anna Held's career spanned the era of the cabinet card and the 8x10 glossy in terms of photographic vehicles for publicity. Our historical image of Held is drawn largely from the archive of post 1905 stills, whether production images of her plays, or her portraits. Yet the most charming pictures taken of Anna were created for the cabinet card trade. I've presented below the very best images from the key photographers, beginning with the splendid Parisian images by Reutlinger, images that establish her persona as charming, mischievous, and capricious. I've longed to see other pictures by Duclerqe, since the face below is so striking--but this is all I've ever encountered. Aime Dupont & his wife Greta had worked in Paris as artists and photographers before coming to New York. For Held, they would have been the persons most like those at home, in terms of aesthetic attitude and studio procedure. Elmer Chickering, the chief theatrical photographer in Boston, studied the Reutlinger images carefully before producing his own. These rank among the most stylish portraits Chickering ever produced. His laziness about posing, and his odd taste in background objects had a way of making his photographs seem something short of creative. But these are splendid. Napleon Sarony's bridal series below include several proof images that have never been published. Sarony had spent substantial time studying art in France during the early 1860s, and had totally internalized aspects of the French portrait aesthetic. Indeed, Reutlinger as a matter of course imitated Sarony's innovations in posing and set up. Benjamin J. Falk proved too flirtatious with Held for Florenz Ziegfeld's liking; hence the relative paucity of images from his Studio. William Morrison's great contribution to the trove of photographic publicity surrounding Held was the lion club picture below which received much circulation. He took many pictures of Held, but few proved sufficiently beautiful to merit posting. Finally, Burr McIntosh, who loved full figure shots of actresses, provides several images of Held in white gowns. Yet never one to wholly submit to the protocols and genteel representation, McIntosh slipped in a few pictures of Held in pants roles. She was rather too curvy to make a convincing boy. At any rate--these would have been available at your local stationers, booksellers, theater lobby, or newsstand from 1895 to 1805. They were a bit pricey at 50 cents per card. Which would you chose? Profdash

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