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.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I think the last name of the pianist must be Demarest, not Demarst — his first name is Rubinstein. There’s a bit about him, through Google books, in _Musical instruments at the World’s Columbian Exposition: a review of musical_ by Charles A. Daniell, if you Google the name.


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