MOLLIE FULLER: STAGE ACTRESS AND VAUDEVILLE PERFORMER

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This cabinet card is a portrait of Mollie (Molly) Fuller (1868-1933), a Boston born stage and vaudeville performer. She appeared in two Broadway plays but is better known for her vaudeville career. She was the second wife of Frederick Hallen (1859-1920) and the couple were a popular team on the vaudeville stage for nearly twenty-five years. They were known for their short comedic plays. Mollie’s resume includes performances in “Adonis” and in “Evangeline”, both plays by  Edward Rice. He biggest hit was her starring role in “The Twentieth Century Girl” (1895). When producer Edward Albee learned Mollie was near blind an impoverished in Chicago, he arranged to bring her to New York. He commissioned a theater piece to be written for her to perform in. She returned to the stage to perform in the resulting playlet “Twilight”. Mollie was the sister of Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Loie was a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques. Among Loie’s skills was her talent as a “skirt dancer”. She died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 68 in 1933. At the time of her death she was receiving assistance from “Troupers”, a national vaudeville players association. This cabinet card was issued by “Newsboy” which was a tobacco company that used cabinet cards as premiums to encourage sales of their tobacco products. This image is number forty-one of a series.  SOLD

AMELIA GLOVER: FAMOUS SKIRT DANCER (CABINET CARD PORTRAIT BY SARONY)

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This cabinet card portrait features celebrated skirt dancer Amelia Glover. The photograph was taken by the well known New York theatrical photographer, Napoleon Sarony. The term “skirt dancer” is not a term we read or hear about today so an explanation is likely in order. Skirt dancing earned its name due to the voluminous skirts worn by the dancers. These skirts were often made of sheer and flimsy material. The skirts were utilized as part of the dancers act. Famous skirt dancers include Glover, Loie Fuller, Papinta, and Anna Held. Amelia Glover was not just any skirt dancer. The Illustrated American (1892) published an article called “The Skirt and the Dance”. In the article the author bemoans the trend that resulted in French and English dancer’s skirts getting shorter and shorter. Most dancers prior to the trend wore long skirts (below the knee). Kate Vaughn is credited with the reintroduction of long skirts and the”skirt dance”. Letty Lind and Sylvia Grey are asserted to be responsible for importing the dance from England to the United States. The pair are said to have created a “rage” with the skirt dance. The author complains that the dance “has mostly degenerated into a lot of high kicking and can can impropriety”. He continues with the contention that the original dance has become “vulgarized”at the hands of “ordinary women” of the variety stage.The author goes on to state that there is one American skirt dancer who has “remarkable natural gifts”. He identifies that dancer as Amelia Glover, also known as “Little Fawn”. The cabinet card image below gives a view of  Glover dancing while wearing a long skirt. Besides being an incredible dance talent, Glover has another claim to fame. Theatre Magazine (1922) reports that Miss Glover started the fad of wearing bobbed hair. Her hairstyle was imitated by other women of the stage as well as by women of society.  SOLD

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