TRUUS VAN AALTEN: PRETTY, SPUNKY, AND FUNNY DUTCH/GERMAN ACTRESS

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tua & dog 1 POSTCARD 1 (CLOSE-UP)

 

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trus 2 1 POSTCARD 2 (CLOSE-UP)

The top vintage real photo postcard features Dutch actress, Truus van Aalten (1910-1999). She appeared in many German films in the 1920’s and 1930’s. She is flashing a wonderful smile as she holds a cute little dog. Truus worked as a milliner after finishing school and then worked as a salesgirl in a clothing store in Amsterdam. What she really wanted to do, was to become a movie actress. Unfortunately, at the time,  the movie industry was not producing many films in the Netherlands. In 1896, Truus entered a beauty contest sponsored by a Dutch magazine. The winner of this contest would be given the opportunity to audition for a film role. Truus was selected and joined about two hundred other women in Berlin to try out for the film part. She excelled on the screen test and won the role. The movie was being produced by Ufa, a German film company. The cast of the film included Betty Balfour and Willy Fritsch. Three photos of Miss Balfour can be found in the Cabinet Card Gallery by searching for “Balfour”. The name of Truus’s first movie was “A Sister of Six” (1926). Keep in mind, Truus had no training or experience as an actress. Even though Truu’s command of the German language was weak, Ufa offered her a contract and promised to train her and offer her opportunities in other films. The Ufa executives appreciated her sparkly and funny personality as well as her photogenic appearance. Truus’s father signed the contract and she moved to Berlin. The celebrated actress Olga Tschechowa took Truus under her wing and became her unofficial mentor and mother figure in the film industry. Olga nicknamed the young actress “Trulala”. Truus second film appearance was in “His Late Excellency” (1927). This movie included Willy Fritsch and Olga Tschechowa among it’s stars. Truus appeared in five movies that were released in 1928. She was certainly a busy actress. As Truus started to appear in more and more silent films, it became clear that she was talented; pretty, spunky, and funny. Truus’s greatest talent was seen in her comedic roles. She slowly became a fan favorite. She was the subject of interviews and photos in movie magazines. She also got work appearing in advertisements.  Truus had “a look” of her own. She was described in one article as having a “mixture of boyish yet feminine energy”. Her bobbed hair and her uninhibited style was similar to actress Colleen Moore. Truus made a successful transition into “talkies”, despite her Dutch accent. By 1930, she was a very well known actress. Her photograph appeared in many postcards and tobacco cards. As Nazism rose in Germany, members of the film industry felt extremely vulnerable. Her film appearances became less frequent, partially because the parts written for females, during the Hitler era,  were not particularly desirable to Truus. In 1934, she starred in her only film in Dutch and she was well received. Her next film wasn’t until 1939 and it turned out to be her final film appearance. In 1940, she returned to live in German occupied Netherlands. She was offered movie roles there, but refused them, because they were propaganda films. After the war, there was little activity in film production in Germany or Netherlands. Finding roles in English or American movies was unsuccessful. In 1954, Truus established a successful importing and exporting business in the Netherlands. The IMDb credits Truus with 28 film appearances from 1926 to 1939. The YouTube video below demonstrates just how cute and engaging Truus was as an actress. She was incredibly adorable.                                                                                                        Postcard  1 was published by Ross Verlag. The postcard is part of a series (no. 4184/1). Miss van Aalten’s portrait was taken by photographer Alex Binder, who operated a studio in Berlin. He was one of Berlin’s premier photographers and photographed many stars of the stage and film. This postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).                                       Postcard 2 was also published by Ross Verlag. The card is part of a series (no. 3884/1). The portrait was taken by photographer Hanni Schwarz of Berlin. Schwarz was a German female photographer and her work was praised in “American Photography” (1909). She was a well known professional photographer in Germany during the early 1900’s. Before becoming a photographer, she was a teacher at her father’s school in Basel. In 1904 , she and Anna Walter took over the photo studio of Johannes Hulsen in Berlin. In 1908, she and Wilhelm von Gloeden presented nude photographs at an exhibit in Berlin. Sometime around 1909 she ran her studio with photographer Marie Luise Schmidt. During the Brussels World’s Fair in 1910, Schwarz exhibited nudes In 1914, she began working with color photography. In 1919 the studio’s name only included Miss Schwarz, and she was reported to specialize in portrait and dance photography. The last known year of Schwarz’s work was 1930. This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2610 (Postcard 1)

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$31.50

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes international shipping outside the US) #2610 (Postcard 1)

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Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2611 (Postcard 2)

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$28.00

Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes international shipping outside the US) #2611 (Postcard 2)

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$36.00

 

tua & dog 2                           Postcard 1 

trus 2 2 POSTCARD 2                                                                      

PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN WITH A FANTASTIC MUSTACHE IN DURAND, WISCONSIN

This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed man with a masterful wiry mustache and chin beard. He is wearing a watch on a chain as well as a very serious expression. This photograph was taken at the Raitt & Parsons studio, which was located in Durand, Wisconsin. The town of Durand is in western Wisconsin and was first settled in 1856 by 21 year-old Miles Durand Prindle.. The town was incorporated in 1887. Photographer, Thomas G Raitt (1847-1904) operated a studio with Mr Parsons between 1891 and 1892. He was a sole proprietor photographer between 1893 and 1904. After Thomas died, another Raitt continued to work as a photographer in Durand. The most likely suspect is Mazie Penelope Raitt (1880-1945) who was a daughter of Thomas and his assistant photographer. In 1905, she ran her own studio, which was likely her late father’s business. One can assume she succeeded her father after Thomas’s death. It appears that Mazie later joined forces with photographer Oscar Fryklund. The pair are listed as partners in the Historical Index of Wisconsin Photographers. An inscription on the reverse of this photograph indicates that the subject is “Uncle Let Briggs”. A preliminary investigation did not obtain confirmable biographical information about “Let Briggs”. There was a “Let Briggs” born in Michigan in 1875, but if the subject was this man, it would mean that he would have been in his mid twenties when he posed for this image. The man in this photograph is clearly significantly older than the mid twenties. 

Published in: on April 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF A FASHIONABLE WOMAN IN LEEDS, ENGLAND (FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER)

This cabinet card portrait is notable for at least two reasons. First, the woman in the photograph is beautifully dressed. Note the matching trim on the cuffs of her sleeves, across her chest, and on her high collar. The second reason that makes this image special is that the photograph was taken by a female photographer. Alice Josephine Swithenbank operated the Elm Street Studio in Hunslet, Leeds, England. Hunslet is an inner-city area in south Leeds.  (SOLD)

Published in: on August 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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EXQUISITE PORTRAIT OF A GERMAN COUPLE BY EMILIE BIEBER (CARTES DE VISITE 1870’s)

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Emilie Bieber is one of my favorite photographers of the Cartes de Visite/Cabinet Card era. The quality of her work soars above her contemporary photographers. View more of her images by clicking on the category “Photographer: Bieber” or just put her name in the search box. This CDV captures a lovely immaculately dressed couple posing in Bieber’s Hamburg studio. The woman’s hair is beautifully done. She is wearing a cross on a chain. The gentleman is wearing formal clothes and also is wearing a ring and pocket watch. Bieber had a second photo studio which was located in Berlin. Emilie Bieber ran her Hamburg studio for 1852 through 1872 when she was joied by her nephew, Leonard Berlin-Bieber. She died in 1884. This cdv likely dates back to the 1870’s. The reverse of the photograph lists prizes garnered by Bieber at various photo exhibitions including Berlin (1865), Paris (1870), London (1872), and Vienna (1873).

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PORTRAIT OF AN ANGELIC LITTLE GIRL IN HOUNSLOW, ENGLAND

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A young girl with blonde hair poses for her portrait at Wards studio in Hounslow, England. Her simple dress and her eyes gazing upward gives her an angelic appearance. Hounslow is a suburban district in Greater London. Wards studio receives mention in the British Journal of Photography (1908). I have been made aware by a vintage photography enthusiast that the photographer is Lorraine Ward and she operated her business from the Stainesroad address from 1896 to 1922. The studio continued it’s existence under other ownership until 1937.

 

 

Published in: on October 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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YOUNG GIRL’S PORTRAIT IN CHARLOTTE, MICHIGAN

A nicely dressed young girl is the subject of this cabinet card photograph by Chapman, of Charlotte, Michigan. The girl is wearing a ring, a link chain necklace, and earrings. The cabinet card stock is unusual because of its pea green color. This photograph came from Edwin A. Chapman’s gallery. Research reveals that he received credit for many photographs that his wife had taken at his studio. Mrs. Jennie A. Chapman (born 1839 or 1840) was a photographer in her own right. Some of her images were taken in 1888.

Published in: on October 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BEAUTIFUL BUT NOT SO TALENTED THEATER ACTRESS: NORA KERIN

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The top vintage real photo postcard features actress Miss Nora Kerin (1883-1970) as she appeared in the theatrical production of “The Prince and the Beggar Maid”. The actress is absolutely beautiful as is her costume. The play opened at the Lyceum in June of  1908 and ran for 82 performances. Miss Kerin played Princess Monica. The actress was born in London and her family was chock full of actresses including sister, Eileen Kerin and cousing Julia Neilson, Lily Hanbury, and Hilda Hanbury. Photographs of Miss Neilson and Mis Lily Hanbury can be found elsewhere in the Cabinet Card Gallery. Nora Kerin made her stage debut in 1899. In conducting my preliminary research about Nora Kerin, I was struck by the number of negative reviews of her acting that I encountered. One review concerned her performance as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”. The production was at the Lyceum Theater in 1908 and the review appeared in London’s “Daily Mail”.  The reviewer wrote “‘Oh, Juliet. Juliet, wherefore art thou Juliet?’ This is, of course, an inversion and a parody; but, seriously, the Juliet of Miss Nora Kerin cannot be taken so. She declaims in the conventional old-fashioned style. She somehow destroys – on the stage – her own personality, and instead of looking the pink of charm and youth (as she is when “taking a call”) she manages to conceal both. Many of her lines were badly spoken, falsely intonated and punctuated. She had moments … melodramatic outbursts … but she is not the personality … she has not the witching simplicity of the real Juliet”. Clearly, Miss Kerin was not a luminary actress of her time. However, she was quite pretty and fifteen portraits of her can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery. The photographer of this postcard image was Rita Martin, a celebrated female photographer. She is considered one of the best British photographers of her time.Her studio was in an exclusive neighborhood at  at 74 Baker Street, Marylebone. She was born Margareta Weir Martin in Ireland.  Margareta “Rita” Martin started her career in photography in 1897 by assisting her elder sister Lallie Charles in running her studio. In 1906 Rita opened her own studio. She had a style of photographing subjects in pale colors against a pure white background and she tended to avoid photographing men and older boys.  Rita had a specialty in photographing actresses including Lily Elsie and Lily Brayton. She was also well known for her child studies which often involved children of well known actresses. Lily’s sister, Lallie Charles was more known as an excellent society photographer. Many of Rita Martin’s photographs can be found in the National Portrait Gallery. A photograph of Rita Martin, by Rita Martin can be seen below. This vintage real photo postcard was produced by the Rotary Photo Company and was part of a series (no. 1796 Z).                                                                                                                 The second postcard portrait of Miss Kerin is also a good representation of her beauty. In addition she is wearing a beautiful lace dress and an extraordinary hat. The photographers of this terrific image, Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s. This postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1796 H) and is of English origin and is postmarked 1907.                                                                                                        The third postcard features Nora Kerin in her role as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”. Unlike the first two portraits, in this image she is wering her hair down and is projecting an air of innocence through the placement of her hands and her vulnerable expression. Just like the top postcard, this image was photographed by Rita Martin and the postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (1796 S) by the Rotary Photo Company. 

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REVERSE OF TOP POSTCARD

kerin 2REVERSE OF SECOND POSTCARD
                                                                                                                                                            by Rita Martin, sepia-toned matte postcard print, 1900s

 PORTRAIT OF RITA MARTIN BY RITA MARTIN 

 

 

 

 

THE “WILD MEN” OF PRAIRIE CITY, ILLINOIS

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Who are these guys? I suppose we will never know. This cabinet card photograph features two older men posing for their portrait at the Crane studio in Prairie City, Illinois. The men are pretty well dressed. Both are wearing long coats and hats. One imagines that this photograph was taken during the winter, judging by the men’s clothing. The gentleman on the right side of the image has an appearance of someone who likely did not live a traditional lifestyle. His appearance might have earned him a part in a movie about a wild man living a bit away from civilization. That is, if there were movies during the cabinet card era. Of course I realize that my hypothesis could be very wrong. As much as I love to conjecture about the people in these vintage photographs, I am clear that our interpretations may reveal more about ourselves than about the subjects in the images. These old photos can be similar to the projective tests (ie the Rorshach)  employed by Psychologists. Gathering information about the photographer of this image was problematic. More thorough research could reap some very interesting results. The only photographer named Crane that I could find in the Prairie City area was Maria Ann Crane who operated a studio right in Prairie City. According to the Yale University library collection of “Women in Photography”, Miss Crane operated a studio in Prairie City in 1893. The library collection includes two of her portraits. Crane may have been an independent photographer, or like many other pioneer women in photography, she may have joined or succeeded her husband in the photography business.

 

 

Published in: on August 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF AN ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL AND HER HOOP TOY IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

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This vintage photograph features an adorable little girl sitting on a wall and holding her hoop toy. She is wearing a cute dress and is wearing a bow in her long wavy hair. She is also wearing a wonderful smile. The photographer of this image is Marie Gleissner who operated a studio in Vienna, Austria. I was unable to find biographical information about the photographer. It is my assumption that the photographer is a woman (Marie). The photographer did an excellent job posing the little girl and produced a terrific image.

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Published in: on January 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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