BLANCHE KELLEHER : BROADWAY THEATER ACTRESS (CABINET CARD)

 

  • This cabinet card portrait features stage actress, Blanche Kelleher. The IBDB reports that Miss Kelleher appeared in two Broadway productions. The first production, “Trelawney of the ‘Wells” was a comedy that appeared at the Lyceum Theatre (1898-?). Other performers in the play included Mary Mannering and Hilda Spong. The play was produced by Daniel Frohman. In 1928, this play was the basis of a film, “The Actress” . The second Broadway show that featured Miss Kelleher, was “The Ambassador” (February 5, 1900 – March 19, 1900). The show was a comedy produced by Daniel Frohman. It was presented at Daly’s theatre, and was on Broadway for 51 performances. This cabinet card portrait was taken at Ye Rose Studio, in Providence, Rhode Island.  The studio opened in 1886 and was located in the Conrad building in downtown Providence. The building still exists. On the reverse of this photo is a stamp which indicates that the image once belonged to Frank A. Munsey (1854-1925). You may not have ever heard of Mr. Munsey but he was a well known man during his time. He was an American newspaper and magazine publisher. He was also an author of several novels. Munsey also founded a major financial institution. His accomplishments go on and on. Munsey provided major funding for Theodore Roosevelts ill fated campaign for the 1912 Republican Party nomination for President. In reaction to Roosevelt not receiving the nomination, he had his hand in the formation of the “Bull Moose Party”. Although he was born in Maine, he spent most of his life in New York City. The city of Munsey, New Jersey is named after him. Munsey receives credit for developing the idea of using high speed printing presses to print on cheap, untrimmed, pulp paper in order to produce affordable magazines. Many of these peiriodicals were sold for just ten cents. The stories appearing on this paper were often action and adventure fiction. The magazines were aimed at working class readers and were called “pulp magazines”. Think “Pulp Fiction”. Munsey eventually expanded into publishing newspapers. In 1925, Munsey died from a burst appendix. When he died, he left a fortune of 20 to 40 million dollars, which by today’s standards, would equal 250 to 500 million dollars. Among those that received sizable funds from Munsey’s estate was Bowdoin College and New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. This cabinet card has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans). Note the tiny chip near the top of the left edge of the card’s border. SOLD

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