WOMAN MAKES FASHION STATEMENT IN NORTH LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN

la crosse

A woman with pursed lips and piercing eyes poses for her portrait at the C. Spettel studio in North La Crosse, Wisconsin. Spettel was located at 720 Rose Street in North La Crosse. Consultation is needed from the cabinet card gallery research department (comprised of informed and expert visitors to the site). Is the subject wearing a scarf wrapped around the top of her dress or is the alleged scarf actually part of her dress? I have not seen many cabinet cards featuring woman wearing similar attire. Research reveals that Clement Spettel (1864-?) learned the business of photography at a young age and started his own business in North La Crosse in 1886. He was soon joined by his brother A. F. Spetel (1866-?). They were in business together from 1887 through 1906.

Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm  Comments (3)  
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MINNIE DUPREE: AMERICAN STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS

                                                      Photograph 1
PHOTOGRAPH 2 (SOLD)

Photograph 1 is a cabinet card portrait of Minnie Dupree (1873-1943). She was an American stage and film actress. She was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She made her acting debut in a touring company in 1887. In 1888, she was a sensation in a small role in William Gillette’s New York play. “Held by the Enemy”. This role propelled her into a number  of supporting roles with the some of the leading actors of the day. She finally got a starring role in the 1900 production of “Women and Wine”. Many other leading roles followed as well as a number of notable successes. However, critics agreed that her later career was less successful than her early and middle career. Dupree also made a small number of films including “The Young in Heart” (1938). Costars in this film included Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Billie Burke, and Paulette Goddard. This cabinet card photograph captures Miss Dupree holding her had and looking dreamily away from the camera. The photograph was taken by celebrity photographer, B. J. Falk. Falk’s address is listed as 949 Broadway, New York City. However, there is a light stamp over the Broadway address indicating that the studio had “removed” to 13 & 15 West 34th Street, New York City.  To see other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

Photograph 2 is a vintage real photo postcard featuring Miss Dupree. The image provides a wonderful close-up view of the actress. She is wearing a fancy dress that is low-cut. Note her pearl necklace. Her hair is styled perfectly, providing a very fresh and clean look. The photographer credited with this fine portrait is celebrity photographer, Jacob Schloss (1856-1938). His studio was located in New York City (Manhattan). He received his education at the Cooper Union in New York City. He graduated in 1872 as an etcher. He joined Benjamin J. Falk’s photography studio and worked there in the mid 1870’s. He left Falk’s employ to open his own studio (54 West 23rd Street) where like Falk, he specialized in theatrical photography. He tended to favor photographing actresses in costume in front of generic studio furnishings. He produced many cabinet card photographs but also was active in the production of magazine images. By the 1890’s he was particularly known for his photographs of beautiful women, much like photographer Jose Maria Mora. Schloss also was an activist for photographers rights. He was very involved in the movement to copyright images. He sued those who used his photographs without crediting or paying him. He was an active participant in national photographer associations and was an worked as a photographer until the 1910’s. The photograph was published by the Rotograph Company as part of the “Rotograph Series” (no.B1844). The postcard has a stamp stating “From Robert S. Simmons”, whom I believe, but can not confirm, was a well known collector of photographs. (SOLD)

POSTCARD 2 (REVERSE) (SOLD)

NOTABLE MUSTACHE IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (THE PHOTOGRAPHER WAS A SCOUNDREL)

This cabinet card features a gentleman with a very notable mustache and bushy sideburns. He looks like a very intense man as he stares at the camera. The man behind the camera was Arthur B. Rugg (1853-?). Rugg’s life story is likely similar to many men who pursued the occupation of photographer. Such a life requires much change; first, working for various photographers in various locations, and finally, making enough money to finance ones own gallery. Rugg, at age 17, was an apprentice to J. C. Moulten of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Moulton took ill just three weeks after Rugg began his apprenticeship and Rugg was forced to be a quick learner. He operated the gallery by himself and at night consulted with Moulten in his sick chamber , receiving criticisms and instructions. Rugg operated the business on his own for three weeks and the business did not suffer with him at its helm. In 1873, Rugg opened his own gallery but it did not do well, so he moved to Boston and worked for a photographer there for the next two years. He then went to Florida to become an orange grower but he lost everything when the business failed. His next stop was New Orleans where he worked for W. W. Washburn in one of the city’s leading galleries. However, after contacting malaria, he was forced to move North and ended up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin where he worked for a year and a half for a leading studio there. In 1879, he moved to Minneapolis and purchased the studio of William Brown and soon Rugg became one of the leading photographers of Minneapolis. Rugg was also noted for being involved in a major lawsuit that had impact on the profession of photography. The American Journal of Photography (1890) reported that the Supreme Court of Minnesota handed down a decision against Rugg for selling a copy of Mrs. Ida E. Moore’s  photograph “which was put on exhibition in improper places, much to the discredit of the lady”. He was ruled to have had no right to the picture which legally belonged to the sitter (Ms. Moore). She won her suit for damages of five thousand dollars although it is not clear if that was the actual amount awarded. Another photography journal of that time reported more specifics of the case. It seems that Rugg had given one of Ms. Moore’s pictures to a police detective named Clark, who showed the photos in a number of houses of ill repute in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. The court ruled that although the negatives of the photograph belonged to Rugg, he could not print photographs from those negatives without permission from Ms Moore. Mr Rugg seems to have lacked some ethics in this instance.  Now, back to that great mustache. To view other photographs of unusual mustaches, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Mustaches (Only the Best)”.

PRETTY WOMAN IN LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN

A pretty woman poses for her portrait at the studio of McClelland, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She has an innocent and  wholesome appearance. She looks like the pretty girl next door. She is wearing her hair in a bun and has an interesting lace collar. The collar is scalloped and the scallops look like the petals of a flower. She is wearing a cameo at her collar.

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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