BESSIE WYNN: ACTED IN “THE WIZARD OF OZ” AND “BABES IN TOYLAND”

This cabinet card features a portrait of stage actress, singer, and comedienne, Bessie Wynn. She appears quite attractive despite her rather bizarre hat. Are those grapes atop her hat? Wynn was famous for her roles in the original cast of Victor Herbert’s “The Wizard of Oz” and “Babes in Toyland”. Wynn introduced the classic song, “Toyland”. She wrote the lyrics for “Toyland” as well as for other songs. She introduced several of Irving Berlin’s songs. Wynn was a showgirl in “The Little Duchess” company that featured Anna Held. Bessie Wynn played a number of “trouser roles”. These roles were defined as roles in which a female actress played a man in men’s clothing. Wynn acted in nine Broadway shows between 1900 and 1912. The photographer of this image was James Samuel Windeatt (1861-1944). The English census (1881) found Windeatt living in Callington, Cornwall and residing with his parents and older sister. His occupation at that time was working as a photographer. The next year he emigrated to the United States and worked as a photographer in Chicago, Illinois. He was a partner in the studio of Gehrig & Windeatt and later operated his own studio. He married his wife, Augusta, in 1888. Census data indicates that he had three daughters (Blanche, Charlotte, and Dorothy). SOLD

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think there is a clear deficit in modern day fashion when it comes to adorning one’s hair with fruit. While I don’t miss the rigid gender roles, sexim, and a lot of other stuff from this pictured era, I do miss the notion of dressing up, being formal, and having a bit of concern for social graces.

  2. This is what a milliner would call a “delightful confection” I think. Not at all unusual for hats of the time & a lovely image all around. I’d put this right at the end of the 19th century with her Gibson Girl hair.


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