JENNIE WINSTON: INTERCONTINENTAL COMIC OPERA ACTRESS

gambier

The top cabinet card features early theatre actress, Jennie Winston. Unfortunately, biographical information concerning Ms. Winston appears to be sparse, and further research is necessary. An 1881 publication reveals that Jennie Winston was a native of Scotland and moved to Australia to join W. S. Lyster’s Italian Opera company. Her tenure with this company was seven years. She next went ot America under engagement to “Mr Maguire”, for whom she worked for one season’s duration. She then formed her own traveling opera company which journeyed to the western United States and British Columbia. The “Dramatic News” described Winston as “unsurpassed as a comic-opera artist by anyone in this country”. The photographer of this portrait was the studio belonging to Gilbert & Bacon. This studio was well known for their quality work as well as their work with local and visiting celebrities. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category of “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

The second photograph, also by Gilbert & Bacon, captures a costumed Jennie Winston playing the mandolin. Note the backdrop  used in this photograph. The backdrop was an excellent choice for the photograph as it is compatible with Ms. Winston’s costume. It was also a good choice technically; the actress does realistically appear to be standing on a winding stone road.

The third photographic portrait features a sultry looking Jennie Winston, and is by celebrated photographer, Marc Gambier (1838-1900). The fourth cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Gambier. Miss Winston is in costume for an unnamed theatrical performance. She is acting in the portrait. Note her provocative and coy appearance. Gambier was born and educated in Paris, France. At the age of 19, he came to America for a very short stint of time. He returned to France and became a student of the great painter, Le Creton. Subsequently, he became a student of another great painter, Camino. He then returned to America and for five years, studied and worked under esteemed photographer, Sarony (view Sarony’s photographs by clicking on the category “Photographer: Sarony”). He then launched his own photography business in New York City. He divided his time between his first love, painting, and his business of taking and selling photographs. Gambier was known as a great historical painter. He was a veteran of the French Army and while in the service, he sketched and painted several important battles. Research reveals that Gambier was listed in the 1880 US census. He was forty-one years old and living in New York City with his family. He is listed as living with his wife Emilie (age 28), daughters Louise (age 10) and Emilie (age 7), and son M. L. (age 2). Also in the residence was a young woman (age 25) who worked as a servant. Gambier was known for the many theatrical photographs he produced as well as for selling postage stamp sized portrait photographs, that people attached to their letters and postcards.

MAGGIE MITCHELL: CELEBRATED THEATRE ACTRESS WHO PERFORMED IN FRONT OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN

maggie mitchell

Maggie Mitchell (1832-1918) was a famous American actress, born in New York. Her first regular stage appearance was in “The Soldier’s Daughter” at the Chambers Street Theatre in 1851. Her first major success was as star of  “Oliver Twist”. She has been described as small, agile and energetic, with a special talent for comedy. In 1860, she appeared in “Fanchon, The Cricket” which was adapted for her from a George Sand novel. She performed in this and other plays in front of  President Abraham Lincoln. The photographer of the top image was celebrity photographer, Mora, of New York City. To view other photographs by Mora, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category, “Photographer: Mora”. The second portrait of Miss Mitchell was taken by the esteemed Philadelphia photographic studio, Gilbert & Bacon. This cabinet card image shows Maggie displaying a “come hither” expression. To view more photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”. ADDENDUM: A knowledgeable visitor to Cabinet Card pointed out that the second photo of Miss Mitchell is actually actress Lotta Crabtree (see comment below). A bit of research confirmed his astute observation. Lotta Crabtree, a woman who led a very interesting life, will receive her own entry in the cabinet card gallery in the next few days.

HANDSOME MAN WITH WIRY BEARD IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

This cabinet card portrait features a handsome man with a wiry beard. His beard qualifies him to enter the cabinet card gallery’s category  “Beards (Only the Best)”.   Click on the category to see an interesting photographic collection of men with notable beards. This photograph was produced by the Gilbert & Bacon studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by this studio and to learn more about the photographers, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

MARY COLEY, A PICTURE OF FASHION, IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

This cabinet card features a very fashionable lady, posing for her portrait at the studio of Gilbert & Bacon, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The woman is identified as Mary Coley (her name is written on the reverse of the photograph). She looks great in her beautiful gown. Note the fur trim at her collar and near the bottom of her dress. She appears to be wearing pearls and she strategically placed her hat at just the right angle, in order  to make some sort of fashion statement. This pretty woman may be an actress; Gilbert & Bacon were prominent theatre photographers in Philadelphia. However, research found no record of any actresses named Mary Coley. To learn more about the photographers of this cabinet card, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

MAUD GRANGER: BROADWAY STAGE ACTRESS

Maud Granger (c 1851-1928) was a popular nineteenth century actress who belonged to a number of east coast theatre touring companies. She played in 17 Broadway productions between 1879 and 1924. She also became an early cinema screen personality. This cabinet card was photographed by the studio of Gilbert & Bacon of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This studio was one of the best known photographic studios in Philadelphia and produced portraits of many celebrities. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.