JOSEPH WHEELOCK SR: LEADING THEATRE ACTOR

This cabinet card features stage actor, Joseph Wheelock Sr. (1839-1908). He began his careeer in Boston and later played leads in various stock companies. His first hit was his appearance in  “The Stranger”. His principal stock company was the Meech Brothers. During his career he appeared with many of the most renowned theatre actors. His fellow cast members included Edwin Booth, Agnes Booth, Adelaide Neilson, Mary Anderson, Edward Sothern and Julia Marlowe. Wheelock was one of the founders and the first President of the Actors Society of America. The society was organized in 1895 and its purpose was to regulate and standardize contractual obligations between performers and producers. The group dissolved in 1912.  This cabinet card was photographed by Napoleon Sarony of New York City, one of the most popular celebrity photographers of this era. To see other photographs in the Cabinet Card Gallery by Sarony, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”. It is important to note that Joseph Wheelock Sr. had a son who was also an actor. Judging by the estimated age of the subject of this photograph, and the estimated date of this photograph; it seems almost certain that this image is that of Joseph Wheelock Sr., and not Joseph Wheelock Jr.

ROSE LEMOINE: PRETTY THEATER ACTRESS AND POSSIBLE MODEL FOR THE “GIBSON GIRL”

ROSE LEMOINETheater actress Rose Lemoine is the subject of this Cabinet Card photographed by the Dana studio of New York. The photograph was part of the Charles L. Ritzmann collection. Ritzmann was a famous importer of theatrical photographs. The attractive Ms Lemoine was thought by some to be the model or the “Gibson Girl”. This upset some Americans because Lemoine was from Cuba, not the United States and the “Gibson Girl” was illustrator Charles Dana’s personification of the feminine ideal. The “Gibson Girl” was a popular figure for twenty years (about 1890-1910). Lemoine’s mother was Cuban and her father was a French coffee planter. In 1903, the New York Times mentions Lemoine as appearing in a Broadway play called “The Best of Friends”. Also appearing in that play was Lionel Barrymore and Agnes Booth.