February 11, 1910
Long Siege of Residence Ends
When Wife Follows At-
PAINTINGS TAKEN AWAY.
Cincinnati Firm to Hold
Them Pending Settlement
of Supposed Debt.
A sharp rap at her front door apprised Mrs. J. L. Woods Merrill in her home, 3200 Peery avenue, a 4:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon that the enemy, in force, were storming her position. Tiptoeing to the window, she peered out. Then she stepped back in sheer surprise. James Fairweather, her attorney, was in the act of looking in.
"We'll have to give up," he whispered hoarsely through the casement. "The enemy is without and will soon be within. Deputy John Whole is here, armed with an ax and an order from the sheriff to cut a cat-hole in the portcullis if it is not lifted immediately."
It was true, as Mrs. Merrill could see at a glance. Wholey, ax in hand, looking like Richard, the Lion-Hearted, in the act of advancing upon a belligerent Corsair, was moving up the concrete steps leading to the three-story brick house which sets on a terrace several feet from the sidewalk. Behind him trouped four deputies. Not far away in the offing a couple of yellow fans had cast anchor.
"Oh, very well," she assented quietly.
A moment later Mrs. Merrill opened the door a wee little bit, peeked out, received the attachment writ which four deputies had been trying two days to serve and shut it again. Silence reigned in the house after the Yale night lock snapped. On the front porch a platoon of big men were drawing long breaths. If she opened the door again a siege which had cost them a night's rest and belated meals would bear happy fruit. If the oaken panels remained staring them in the face -- hist! The night lock was turning.
"Come in," invited Mrs. Merrill with an immobile face. "If you've got to ransack the house get through it as quickly as possible."
The deputies filed into the house and began work. Beautiful paintings that had cost thousands in good money were in a few minutes more or less carefully packed, so that the Madonnas of Spain could gaze serenely down upon Flemish landscapes through clouds of excelsior and gauze paper. Big, strong hands, admirably adapted to lifting pianos and transferring semi-anthracite from a wagon to a sub-basement, were skillful in wedging painted Cupids between the best efforts of Raphael and Murrillo so the time-seasoned paint would not rub off in the journey to the safety vault of the criminal court building.
"It's a shame and an outrage and it should not be permitted," said J. L. Woods Merrill in his office in the Arlington building yesterday afternoon, in speaking of the attachment gotten out in the interests of the Gamble Soap Manufacturing Company of Cincinnati, O., to get possession of $150,000 worth of paintings to satisfy a debt of $2,800 which is claimed Mr. Merrill owes Mrs. Francisca Gamble, but which Merrill claims never existed.
"Mrs. Merrill borrowed $2,800 from Francisca N. Gamble three years ago, but neither my wife nor myself ever gave a note for the same," said Mr. Merrill. "Since the money was borrowed, $800 was paid back one time and $600 another time, leaving only $1,200 due Mrs. Gamble. I have offered several times to settle the matter and last Monday morning when A. K. Nippert of Cincinnati called at my office we decided on a settlement, but at the last minute Mr. Nippert objected, saying he 'wasn't getting enough for Cincinnati.' And that is just the matter. They want to get those paintings to Cincinnati and then what would be the chance of me getting them back? They only put up a $6,000 bond to cover the value of ninety-two paintings worth over $150,000.
"While we were talking about the matter Mr. Nippert placed some papers on my table. When he left he gathered them up, putting them in his pocket. The next morning he came back and demanded that I return them to him. He then had issued a replevin to make me give them up and later got out the attachment.
"The replevin calls for 'one written instrument acknowledging the receipt of the sum of $2,800, signed by J. L. Woods Merril.'
"Take it from me," said Mr. Merrill, "those papers never existed.
"Just before Colonel Swope died, I talked with him regarding the establishment of an Original Oil Painting Art Institute in Kansas City," said Mr. Merrill, "and I had intended to donate some of our most valuable paintings. I still intend to do so should the institute be built unless these people are allowed to cobble them.
Labels: arts, business, Thomas Swope
January 22, 1910
REEDER PICTURE MOVED.
For Half a Century It Has Hung at
For the first time in several years the life-size oil painting of Andrew H. Reeder, the first governor of the territory of Kansas, which has graced the walls of the Coates house for half a century, was removed from its place in the lobby yesterday so that steamfitters could get at a defective pipe. The painting will be cleaned and re-hung in its old place.
The removal of the picture yesterday resulted in a flood of questions at Clerks Mong and Preston. Each told the story of the picture at least a score of times during the day and evening. The painting was made at the direction of Colonel Kersey Coates, the founder of the Coates house, from a photograph. The painting pictures Governor Reeder in flight.
It was back in 1856 that Governor Reeder had much trouble with the pro-slavery men and was forced to hide in Kansas City. He was a close friend of Colonel Kersey Coates, and Colonel Coates successfully hid the governor for two weeks at the Gillis house and other places about the city, finally furnishing him with a disguise in which he was able to escape as a deck passenger on the Missouri river steamer, the A. B. Chambers. When he arrived at St. Louis he had a photograph taken and sent it to Colonel Coates.
Labels: arts, boats, Coates house, Kersey Coates, Missouri river, photographs, St Louis
January 18, 1910
WORK OF BOY, AGED
Never Took Art Lesson.
MASTER JOHN WOOLSEY'S IDEA OF AN EASTER HAT.
John A. Woolsey, the 13-year-old son of J. T. Woolsey, 1131 State street, Kansas City, Kas., the author of these sketches, never had a drawing lesson in his life, but ever since he was old enough to write his name he has shown more or less talent and interest in sketching. He has no particular subject for his drawings, but will sketch whatever comes to his mind, one time a farm scene or landscape view, and perhaps the next will be a comic picture or series of pictures along the lines of the comics in the Sunday edition of newspapers. He also takes great interest in making cartoons. Young Woolsey attended the Lowell school until two years ago, when he went with his father to Texas, and remained until a few weeks ago, when they returned to Kansas City. He will be sent to an art school as soon as his other education is finished.
Labels: arts, children, Kansas City Kas, Texas
December 5, 1909
ART IN A CROATIAN CHURCH.
Beautiful Paintings Now Adorn Edi-
fice of St. John the Baptist.
While the nuns were saying their evening prayers before the alter in St. John the Baptist Croatian Catholic church, at Fourth street and Barnett avenue in Kansas City, Kas., last night, workmen were busy in the rear of the church tearing away a great wooden scaffolding The scaffold has been used during the last six weeks by Oton Tvekovic, an artist, who has been decorating the church after the manner of the Catholic churches in Croatia.
In the alcove above the alter the artist has painted the figures of Jesus and the prophets Jeremiah, Isias and Elias. The figures are somewhat larger than life size and are skillfully executed. In the north alcove of the church the artist has executed a painting thirty-eight feet in length, which represents the prophets, Cyril and Methodus, on their presentation to Prince Rastislav of the Slavonic peoples. Thee picture tells the story of these two apostles who first carried the Christian religion to the Slavs at the close of the eighth century.
An unfinished picture in the south alcove will, when completed, represent the birth of Christ. In the ceiling of the church the pictures of the twelve apostles will be executed. Mr. Tvekovic is a native of Agrin, Croatia. He is a graduate of the Fine Arts institute in Vienna, and is a professor of art in the fine arts schools of Karlsruhe and Munich. He is staying with the Rev. M. D. Krmpotich, pastor of the church. Besides being a portrait painter, Mr. Tvekovic is a landscape artist of note. He has several sketches which he will place on display soon at 416 East Eleventh street, Kansas City, Mo.
Father Krmpotich said last night that his church was the first Croatian church in America to be decorated as are the churches in the mother country. Besides the pictures of the Biblical characters, the church has been decorated in the national colors of Croatia. Several designs peculiar to Croatia have been worked into the decorative scheme, and when finished the interior of the church will present a picturesque and pleasing appearance. Father Krmpotich organized St. John the Baptist parish seven years ago. Since that time a substantial brick church, a rectory and a school have been built. The parish now comprises more than 150 Croatian families, and is in a flourishing condition.
Labels: arts, churches, Croatians, immigrants, Kansas City Kas, ministers, nuns
October 31, 1909
SHIELDS AT 12th AND GRAND.
Well Known Photographer Has Dis-
play in New Studio.
C. Harrison Shields, who is well known as one of Kansas City's leading photographers, having conducted a studio at Eighth and Grand avenue for almost seven years, but now located in the Rookery building at Twelfth and Grand avenue, is displaying a collection of water colors, Vandykes, and sepia portraits. Part of this collection is his own production and some of the work of contemporary artists, friends of Mr. Shields. The occasion of the display is the recent opening of the new Shields studio.
Prior to his residence in Kansas City the name of Shields was associated with high class photography in St. Louis, where Mr. Shields engaged in the business for fourteen years.
Labels: arts, Eighth street, Grand avenue, photographs, St Louis
September 21, 1909
Brilliant Pianist Who Has Made
Kansas City His Home.
An artist of the first rank played his first recital in Kansas City last night in the auditorium of Central high school. He is Moses Boguslawsky, the new head of the conservatory of music piano department and his formal introduction to local musical circles last night was more than auspicious. The impression which he made was instantaneously favorable and he was given a demonstrative welcome solely upon his merits as a player, for he came unheralded and unknown to Western music lovers. Kansas City is well equipped with good women players but there is ample room here for a man of Mr. Boguslawski's gifts. This young player, not yet 30, has unquestionably a brilliant future before him. He played a very musicianly programme last night with a verve, sureness, brilliancy and emotionality which stamped him a real artist. A man of slight physique, Boguslawski's repertoire is an extensive one and from it he selected last night a series of illustrative tone pictures which displayed the scope of his artistic acquirements.
Francois Boucher, violinist, assisted and his contributions were, as always, interesting musical features. He played several Weiniawsky numbers very effectively.
Labels: arts, music, schools
August 24, 1909
GIFT FOR CARL BUSCH.
Composer Presented With Oil Por-
trait of Himself Yesterday.
A number of the friends of Carl Busch, the Kansas City composer, who recently returned from Denmark, where he conducted an orchestra on American day at the exposition of Aarhus, assembled in Mr. Busch's studio in the Studio building early yesterday morning. When Mr. Busch arrived he was presented with a finely executed oil portrait of himself by J. H. Nelson, an artist at 918 Main street. Mr. Busch was traditionally surprised and declared that the portrait was a speaking likeness. It represents Mr. Busch seated and was painted from a photograph. It will be exhibited for a week at Jenkins' music store.
Labels: arts, Carl Busch, Main street, music, photographs
August 14, 1909
IF NUDE IS ART, THEN
ART IS "ON THE BUM"
JUDGE LATSHAW STRICTLY TO
ENFORCE NEW LAW.
In Fining Photographer the $500
Limit, Court Calls Attention to
Most Drastic Enactment
If the nude is art, then, in the immortal words of Alderman Miles Bulger, art will be "on the bum" in Kansas City on and after Monday, August 16. Mark the date on the calendar.
Judge Ralph S. Latshaw administered this latest jolt to the "nude" in art yesterday afternoon in the criminal court. Incidentally, he said in no uncertain words that the nude is not art.
Photographers and art schools, who make a practice of reproducing likeness of the human form as it appears without the constraint of clothing will have to get out the fig leaves or something that will be even less translucent than the Adam ready to wear clothes.
The ruling on art in general and nude art in particular came in the case of Leon Vickers, a photographer who had a studio in the Sterling building. He advertised for girls to pose at 50 cents an hour. Then he informed some of the applicants that they would have to pose in the nude altogether and made advances toward two girls.
Vickers was tried in the municipal court, where a fine of $100 was imposed. He appealed to the criminal court, where the fine was raised to $500.
"Photographers all over the city make a practice of posing nude subjects," said the attorney for Vickers.
TO STOP "LIFE CLASSES."
"If they do," said Judge Latshaw, "they will soon be on the inside of the jail bars, looking out."
"But they pose nude subjects and make sketches from the nude at the Fine Arts institute," suggested Daniel Howell, assistant city attorney, who conducted the prosecution.
"They will not do so after Monday," remarked the court, decisively. "The legislature has enacted a law, effective Monday, which covers just such cases. I am sorry, Vickers, that I cannot send you to the penitentiary. There ought to be a law under which I could do so."
However, the fine of $500 imposed on Vickers is equivalent to the maximum imprisonment fixed in the new statute. The photographer will have to go to the workhouse for a year. The new law makes the maximum imprisonment one year and the maximum fine $1,000 and provides that both may be imposed.
A further section of the new law forbids the circulation of any obscene pictures or literature. If rigidly enforced, it will have a considerable bearing on the trade in suggestive postcards, which has grown to abnormal proportions in the past few years.
Labels: Alderman Bulgerr, arts, criminal court, Judge Latshaw, photographs, workhouse
July 7, 1909
BELIEVES HE HAS
W. E. MELLIER'S FIND MAY BE
Landscape in Oil on Copper, Dis-
playing Characteristics of Great
Dutch Master, Sent to Antwerp
On a copper plate 6 1/2 by 9 inches in size and weighing a quarter of a pound, which was listed with the surveyor of the port for reimportation by Walter E. Mellier yesterday, is a landscape in oils, its subject matter, cook, dark green coloring, and other characteristics, indicating it was painted by Jacob Ruysdael (1625-1682), one of the greater masters of the Dutch school. If so, $5,000 is considered a fair valuation for the little painting, making that bit of copper worth $20,000 a pound, a price beyond the dreams of Amalgamated.
Mr. Mellier said the copper plate had been picked up in Kansas City. He believes he has a genuine Ruysdael, and is sending it to Antwerp, Holland, where it will be submitted to experts, that its identity may be established.
Mr. Mellier does not say where he got his supposed Ruysdael nor what he paid for it, further than that it was "picked up" in Kansas City. People well informed concerning painting and who have seen it, declare it a genuine Ruysdael, though it is not signed.
Large trees are shown right and left in the foreground, with a prominent clay bank commanding a stream in which there are ducks swimming. To the right there is a shepherd and his sheep, to the left a man bracing himself against a wind which is shaking the trees.
There are a lot of other things in the sixteenth century picture that nobody knew about till a twentieth century camera got a look at it. Then everybody concerned found out about the supposed Ruysdael. The old Dutch master painted in dark colors invariably. This Mellier plate is olive green in the main.
After all the knowing ones had scanned the picture closely and speculated on it, the camera made everything plain by developing a village in the background.
"That was about the most important thing we wanted to find," said Mr. Mellier, as he pointed on the photographic copy of the plate to a village in the center. "Ruysdael always had a church in his scenes. There is the church the picture seemed to lack. He never painted his own figures. He was great on detail. Look at the ducks."
The photograph showed sharply outlined and perfectly painted ducks in every detail.
RUYSDAEL'S STYLE OF WORK.
Jacob Ruysdael, one of the greatest landscape painters of the Dutch school, was born at Haarlem, Holland, in 1635. He studied under his uncle, Salomon. He was so little appreciated that he descended to absolute penury, and the Mennonites, to which sect he belonged, secured for him admission to the almshouse in Haarlem, where he died in 1682.
Ruysdael rendered nature in its various phases with rare truthfulness. His work is noted by power, warm coloring, and a mastery of execution.
The flat and homely scenery of his native country furnished Ruysdael with subjects. With lonely hamlets, watermills, dark sheets of water overshadowed by trees, and a sky usually clouded, he imparted a melancholy character to his landscapes. Dark masses of foliage make the prevailing tone of his coloring a dark green.
June 30, 1909
DOESN'T APPROVE OF
TITLE IN HIS FAMILY.
CRAIG HUNTER HEARS DAUGH-
TER WEDDED SON OF A LORD.
Post Cards Bear Announcement of
Marriage of Mrs. Adeline De
Mare to Henry Somerset
MRS. ADELINE DE MARE,
Who May Be Lady Somerset.
Post cards bearing the announcement of the marriage in London, England on June 16 of Mrs. Adeline De Mare of Kansas City, widow of Professor Georges De Mare, the artist who lost his life in the fire which destroyed the University building in this city in 1907, have given rise to the belief on the part of the friends and relatives of the young woman that she has wedded Henry Charles Somers Augustus Somerset, the son of Lord Henry Richard Charles Somerset, husband of Lady Henry Somerset, the famous temperance leader and suffragist.
According to the meager information conveyed by the postals, which were received from England yesterday by the father of the girl, Craig Hunter, a railway contractor with offices at 1002 Union avenue, and Mrs. Herman Lang, 3901 Forest avenue, a close friend of the family, Mrs. De Mare was married to a Henry Somerset in London on June 16. Partly through the way the announcements were worded and more through the presumption of those who received the announcements, the report was started that the Somerset in question is the son of the nobleman. Neither Mr. Hunter nor Mrs. Lang was in a position to confirm the report last night, but both were anxiously awaiting more information, which is expected to arrive by letter in a few days.
FATHER IS NOT PLEASED.
Mr. Hunter is not pleased with the thought that perhaps his daughter has become the wife of the son of an English nobleman.
"I sincerely hope that Adeline has not married into a titled family," he said yesterday. "I have always talked against such marriages, and if she has married Lord Somerset's son, she has acted directly contrary to any wish of mine. A good, plain American boy is my choice."
Mrs. De Mare, who graduated from the Central high school in the spring of 1905, married Professor Georges De Mare, head of the art department of the school, in December, 1906. Professor De Mare the following May was killed in a fire which destroyed the University building at Ninth and Locust streets. The death of her husband greatly preyed upon the mind of Mrs. De Mare and in order that she might be benefited by a change of scene she was sent to Paris to school in September, 1907.
She took up a course of study at the Sorbonne, the University of Paris. She was a proficient artist in instrumental music and completed a course in that study last spring. Last September her mother, Mrs. Hunter, went to Paris to return with Mrs. De Mare to America when her school work was completed. Mrs. Hunter and her daughter were to have sailed for America today form Naples. The plans of Mr. Hunter to meet them at New York are upset by the unexpected announcement of the daughter's marriage in London.
MARRIAGE A SURPRISE.
"Adeline's marriage was a complete surprise to me," said Mr. Hunter. "I received a letter from my wife two weeks ago in which she said that an Englishman by the name of Somerset was madly in love with the girl, but I did not think seriously of it. I did not think, either, that it might be a member of the Lord Somerset family. But now that I compare the meager descriptions I have received of the man with those of the son of the lord, I am firmly convinced that they are one and the same person.
"Mrs. Hunter said that the Mr. Somerset who was paying attention to my daughter was a widower and had a little daughter about 9 years of age. Henry Somerset, they tell me, was married in 1896 to the daughter of the Duke of St. Albans and should be at this time about the age of the man who married my daughter. He has been making his home in Paris for some time, so I guess there may be something to the report of my son-in-law being of a titled family. I hope, however, that it is not true."
Mrs. De Mare was 21 years old last September. She is a beautiful and talented woman and was very popular in the younger social set in Kansas City.
SOMERSET HISTORY EVENTFUL.
EASTNOR CASTLE, ONE OF THE FOUR HOMES OF LADY HENRY SOMERSET.
Somewhat eventful has been the history of the Somerset family. Nor has its domestic relations been of the happiest. The present Lady Somerset was married at the age of 18, after a brief season at court. The match between Lady Isobel and Lord Henry Somerset was arranged by the young girl's mother, and Lady Isobel's dowry was welcome to Lord Henry.
Two years after the wedding the only child, Henry Charles Augustus Somerset, was born. During those two years of married life there had been frequent ruptures between husband and wife with the result that divorce was frequently discussed by each. Shortly after the birth of the son the courts of England granted a divorce and gave the mother custody of the child.
For a while Lady Somerset kept up her social activities, but Queen Victoria looked into the causes of divorce and placed the social ban upon that immediate branch of the Somerset family. In June of 1902, however, King Edward, his wife and sister, Princess Beatrice, restored Lady Henry Somerset to court favor. This action on the part of King Edward occasioned favorable comment on the part of the British public and press.
RETIRED TO PRIVATE LIFE.
When Lady Henry fell into disfavor with the court she retired and lead a sequestered life, teaching her boy. Later she sent her son to Harvard university, from which institution he graduated.
Henry Somers Somerset was married in 1896 to Katherine De Vere Beaucher. There had been no news in America of a divorce or of the wife's death. She has been described as a very beautiful woman and a prime favorite of the Somerset's.
Lady Henry Somerset has been long identified with socialism and temperance work. At the present time she is the president of the world organization of the W. C. T. U. She has spent large sums of money to alleviate the distress occasioned by drink among the men and women of England. She has written many books upon the subject of temperance and has become widely known.
Lord Henry Somerset, the divorced husband, has been lost from sight and there is no record of his death.
Henry, the son, who is said to have married Mrs. De Mare, is 35 years old.
Labels: arts, England, Forest avenue, suffrage, Union avenue, wedding, women
April 28, 1909
DUE TO PTOMAINE POISONING.
Mrs. Gross's Death Caused by Butter-
milk She Drank Last February.
Mrs. Alice M. Gross, 34 years old, a member of the Kansas City Art Club and formerly a teacher in the art department of the Manual Training high school, is dead at the home of her brother, Dr. Franklin E. Murphy, at 1100 Prospect avenue. She was the wife of Herman W. Gross of St. Louis. Death was the result of ptomaine poisoning contracted from drinking buttermilk while visiting in St. Louis last February.
Mrs. Gross had several times visited Europe and received her artistic training there. While studying in Paris some of her paintings attracted attention and were exhibited in the salons of the Louvre and the Champs Demars. She won a scholarship in the Chace School of Art of New York for the best collection of original studies.
Labels: arts, death, food, New York, poison, Prospect avenue, schools, St Louis, women
April 11, 1909
A SUCCESSFUL LOCAL COMPOSER.
CHARLES L. JOHNSON, PROLIFIC
AND VERSATILE WRITER.
Has Sold Nearly 3,000,000 Copies
of His Compositions -- "Iola" Alone
Passed Million Mark -- Several
New Pieces Being Launched.
CHARLES L. JOHNSON.
Charles L. Johnson, the Kansas City composer, does not pretend to be a Charles K. Harris or a Harry Van Titzer, but he has already achieved a degree of success that places him at the heart of Western music writers. He has written during the past few years fully a score of pieces that have been successful and has at the present time nearly a dozen good sellers on the market. He has just brought out the last song, a charming little ballad, "If I Only Had a Sweetheart," and about May 1 he will publish his latest instrumentalized composition, an exquisite intermezzo, "Sunbeam," also his new song, "Waltzing Around With Mary." Already 80,000 copies of "If I Only Had a Sweetheart" have been printed by Mr. Johnson, who is his own publisher, composer, song writer, manager, etc. This number will of course be multiplied by three or four, thought Mr. Johnson has not yet duplicated his greatest success, "Iola," of which more than 1,200,000 have been sold. He is perhaps better known as the author of "Iola" that that of any other piece, though his fame has reached all parts of the country.
Mr. Johnson was born in Kansas City, Kas., so that his career is a matter of interest to musical circles of the entire West. He is a natural musician and composed several pieces at an early age. He was for several years with the Carl Hoffman music house before embarking in business for himself. Some of his early successes were ragtimes, but he has shown his versatility by producing some very class music. He came into prominence with his rollicking "Doc Brown's Cake Walk," named for an eccentric negro who was for a long time a familiar figure on the streets of Kansas City. Another early piece was "Whispered Thoughts," a pretty novelette, of which 500,000 copies were sold. "Dill Pickles" is a very popular ragtime, while his eloquent high class ballad, "Deep In My Heart, Beloved," the exact opposite artistically, is one of his most successful compositions. Probably 3,000,000 copies of Mr. Johnson's compositions have been sold, and the prolific and indefatigable young composer says he is just getting down to business. There seems to be no reason why he shouldn't write another "After the Ball," which made a fortune for its author. Among the other successes of Mr. Johnson may be mentioned "Powder Rag," two step; "Fairy Kisses," waltz; "Fawn Eyes," two step; and "Barn Dance," schottische.
Labels: arts, Kansas City Kas, music
March 7, 1909
PICTURES OF POLICE HEROES.
Oil Paintings of Mullane and Dalbow
May Be Ordered.
The Police Relief Association probably will authorize Miss Betty Kather to paint portraits of Michael Mullane and A. O. Dalbow, who lost their lives in the fight with Adam God's band of fanatics last December. The pictures would be placed on the walls of the city hall beside the portraits of all other officers who have fallen while on duty. The painting of Michael Mullane, which was on exhibition several days ago, was highly satisfactory to the officers. Miss Kather is a Kansas City girl and is a member of the Fine Arts Institute.
Labels: Adam God sect, arts, police, women
March 2, 1909
SPRING SONG IS GIVEN IN
FLESHLINGS AND SHOES.
MISS HOFFMAN VERY ANGRY.
SAYS ACTOIN TAKEN BY PEOPLE
WHO NEVER SAW DANCE.
Injunction to Be Heard in Judge
Porterfield's Court Tomorrow.
"I, Too, Am a Christian,"
Says Miss Hoffman.
Gertrude Hoffman did not give the Salome dance at the Shubert theater last night because a court order commanded her not to do so.
In the "Spring Song "Gertrude, who goes bare-footed and bare ankled and almost bare-kneed in this number, wore fleshlings, and on her classic feet she wore soft shoes because the court order commanded it.
A temporary restraining order, made by Judge E. E. Porterfield of the circuit court late yesterday afternoon and returnable tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock, scored first blood for those who are fighting the presentation of the semi-nude dance in Kansas City.
Miss Hoffman was served with the order while she was in her room at the Coates house. The order was also served on Earl Steward, manager of the Shubert, J. J. Shubert and Lee Shubert being included in the list of defendants.
Miss Hoffman went to the Shubert last night determined to do her dance. She was mad and excited. It was decided to eliminate the "Salome" dance, but as the court order made no mention directly of the Spring Song number, that dance was given.
"What kind of a town is this?" said Miss Hoffman, as she retired to her dressing room after the conclusion of her act.
One could still hear the applause coming from the auditorium of the theater.
"Do you hear that?" she said. "Did you see that audience? Did you see any people with low brows in that audience? Do they look coarse, unrefined, ill bred? No, certainly they don't.
"What does the so-called religious element of Kansas City think I am doing over here? Do they think I get out on the stage and wriggle? Do they think the audience giggles?
"I have given my dances all over the Eastern section of the United States. I played in the leading cities of New England where the Puritans came from and where their descendants live and thrive and still preach purity.
"Intellectual audiences, audiences of brain and a taste for art saw my dances. I played to an audience made up entirely of Harvard men while in Boston. I played to an audience made up almost entirely of Yale men when we played in New Haven. When we played in Springfield, Mass., more than half of the audience was composed of girls attending Smith college. They came over thirty miles to see my performance. They represented some of the richest, most intellectual families of the United States. They didn't blush. They had nothing to blush for. They applauded.
"Who are these people who rant about something they have never seen? They are hypocrites, to begin with. Why do they seize on this performance, when they have ignored other theatrical performances which might have given them some excuse for going to court?
"If these people object to my dance why don't they go to your art academies and tear down the nudes. Why don't they close up the art academies and prevent nude women from posing for nude pictures? Why don't they?
"That's art, they will say, if they have intelligence. So it is. And this dance I give is art, classic art.
Labels: arts, Boston, Coates house, dancing, hotels, Judge Porterfield, theater, visitors, women
February 7, 1909
STATUE FOR THOS. H. BENTON.
State to Be Asked to Appropriate
$25,000 Towards It.
Aided by the representatives in the legislature from Jackson county, the Daughters of the American Revolution will ask for an appropriation of $25,000 from the state with which to erect a monument in honor of Thomas Hart Benton. The monument is to be located in one of the public parks in Kansas City.
A committee representing the society met yesterday in the office of State Senator M. E. Casey, with the entire Jackson county delegation in the legislature. The members of the legislature agreed to work for the appropriation.
As Jackson county has never asked for a state appropriation, not having a state institution of any kind within its borders, the representatives believe the appropriation can be secured.
If the amount is secured the bill provides that the money shall be spent under the direction of the governor, state auditor and the regent of the society.
Labels: arts, organizations, statues
November 19, 1908
HIGH ART EXHIBIT IN FACT.
It Will Be Held on Fifteenth Floor
of Commerce Building.
For the sake of stimulating interest in art in Kansas City, the Arts and Crafts Society will give a free exhibition on the fifteenth floor of the Commerce building all next week. The exhibit will include pictures and arts and crafts work. Many of the exhibits will be loans by Kansas City persons. A small admission fee will be charged to see Fred Barse's collection of paintings.
The exhibit will be open to the public Monday morning. Admission will be by invitation to the formal opening Saturday night.
The whole affair will be under the auspices of the Fine Arts Institute, of which the Arts and Crafts Society is a part.
Labels: arts, Commerce building, organizations
July 25, 1908
CUPID PLAYS HAVOC IN BAND.
Navassars' Manager Is Kept Busy
Looking for New Musicians.
A band of women musicians is much harder to manage than a band of men musicians. Most men who have tried to manage one woman will see the difficulty in trying to handle sixty or seventy.
Managing the Navassar Ladies' band, which is playing at Carnival park, brings no end of trouble. Not that the women of the band are more fretful or perverse than their sisters who cook and sew in their own homes, but Cupid interferes.
Already this season the Navassar band has lost eight members through marriage. When a man musician marries he usually takes his wife with him for the honeymoon, but the women musicians can't very well travel with a husband tagging along with them, mostly because hubby must have a job somewhere. So the women leave the band when they marry.
The band manager? Why, he sighs when he hears the news, congratulates the groom and searches for another woman to take the bride's place in the organization.
Labels: arts, Carnival Park, marriage, music
June 27, 1908
KANSAS CITY GIRL TO SING.
Miss Pearl Warner to Be Heard at
Miss Pearl Warner has been engaged as soloist with Mr. H. O. Wheeler's American band at Fairmount park, and begins her engagement tomorrow afternoon. Miss Warner will sing twice each evening and afternoon. Miss Warner has a beautiful dramatic soprano voice. She scored a big hit in the Elks' minstrel show at the Willis Wood. Miss Warner was last season with "The belle of Mayfair," and is now considering several offers for the coming season.
Labels: arts, fairmount park, music
June 18, 1908
CITY IN MOVING PICTURES.
Films Will Be Exposed in the Retail
If your wife's new directoire is finished, dress her up and parade her in the downtown district this afternoon.
That is a duty a good citizen owes Kansas City today, of all days in the year, for today the town goes on the motion picture films to be exhibited all over the world.
A special street car carrying the phenomenal machine which puts you and your smile on the films will start at 1:30 o'clock from Thirteenth street and Grand avenue. If you chance to be strolling from the postoffice about this time the face you turn toward the machine will be exhibited in Hale's Tours in amusement places in many countries.
Here is the route of the car: From the start at Thirteenth street and Grand avenue the first run will be on Grand avenue to Fifth street, west on Fifth street to Walnut street. The car will start south on Walnut street at 1:45, 2 o'clock it will run north on Main street to the city hall and at 2:30 o'clock it will run from Wyandotte and Eighth streets east to Oak street. This will end the first day's film making.
Of course this is going to be done only provided the weather is clear. Next week, probably Saturday or Sunday, the machine will be placed on an automobile and pictures made of the boulevards. When the flood waters recede pictures will be made of the manufacturing district in the West Bottoms and later interior views of the banks and other large institutions will be made.
The films are made in sections. As the Kansas City film will appear it will show Kansas City from an inbound Wabash passenger train, giving a glimpse of the intercity viaduct.
The pictures will be made and exhibited by the International Publicity Company.
Labels: arts, automobiles, Fifth street, Grand avenue, intercity viaduct, Main street, moving pictures, Oak street, post office, streetcar, Thirteenth street, Walnut Street, Wyandotte street
June 14, 1908
FINE ART WORK.
Bangs Sisters Creating
Portraits of the Deceased.
The Bangs Sisters of Chicago produce portraits of departed men, women or children for friends while they wait. These wonderful artists are located in the New York apartment house, northwest corner of Twelfth street and Paseo. They have been spending a few weeks away from home on a vacation. They are making many beautiful portraits in Kansas City and do not expect to remain in Kansas City very long. Anyone wishing to see them should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible. --Adv.
Labels: arts, Chicago, Paseo, Twelfth street, visitors
April 25, 1908
MEYER STATUE WILL
STAND ON PASEO.
SITE IS CHOSEN BETWEEN NINTH
AND TENTH STREETS.
BRONZE STATUE TO BE ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF A. R. MEYER ON THE PASEO, BETWEEN NINTH AND TENTH STREETS.
After spending almost the entire day yesterday going over the boulevards and through the parks of the city, the members of the Meyer statue committee, together with Daniel Chester French, the sculptor, late yesterday agreed upon a point on the Paseo between Ninth and Tenth streets, for the location of the bronze statue to be erected of the late A. R. Meyer, first president of the park board. The statue will be near the south end of the block and will face toward the south. The immediate surroundings for the statue will be decided upon by the park board.
This will be the first public statue to be erected in Kansas City, and will be in honor of the man to whom perhaps more credit is due for the splendid park and boulevard system for which Kansas City is now noted, than any other.
The model for the monument was sent ahead by Mr. French with the request that it not be opened until his arrival. It was first opened at 10 o'clock yesterday morning in the Commercial Club rooms, in the presence of Mr. French and the members of the statue committee. The model was unanimously accepted by the committee and, on recommendation of that body, was later accepted by the city art committees. A committee composed of E. M. Clendening, H. D. Ashley and Frank A. Faxon was named to frame a suitable inscription for the base of the monument.
The monument consists of a main structure of Knoxville marble fifteen feet in height, about seven feet in width and two feet in depth from front to back, resting on a base of the same material about ten by six feet.
The monument is surrounded by an ornamental cap, and the main stone, containing the portrait of Mr. Meyer, is supported by an ornamental stone, resting on the base proper. The portrait of Mr. Meyer will be in bronze, let into the main stone of the monument, and will show a figure seven and a half feet in height. It has been the endeavor of the sculptor to suggest Mr. Meyer as the originator of the park system, and he is represented as standing out of doors with his right hand resting on an open map, which lies upon a marble Pompeian table. The left hand holds a pair of field glasses, and a tree under which he is standing is introduced at the right.
Mr. French will remain in Kansas City until tonight. He expects to have the statue finished in about a year.
Labels: arts, Commercial Club, Edwin Clendening, Frank Faxon, Ninth street, Paseo, statues, Tenth street, visitors
April 15, 1908
WITH JOE STEIBEL
SAYS HE COULDN'T MAKE HIM
"Apollo" Bergfield, the Big Copper,
Also Suffers at the Hands of
the Visiting Artist.
CARTOONIST LEVI'S LIBEL OF "JOE" STEIBEL, THE POPULAR PRESS AGENT OF THE ORPHEUM THEATER, WHOSE SMILE IS PERENNIAL.
"Behold the man who never smiles, or to whom it is at least painful to smile," said Bert Levy, as he pointed out one of his drawings of Joe Steibel, the affable pres agent of the Orpheum. "I tried every way in my power to make him even look pleasant, and at last he turned on me, serious as he could be, and said, 'Levy, I can't smile; I'm a sick man.' But I know the reason why he is so doleful -- it's because he has been working too hard this season.
"Why, just look what he has been up against all year, another vaudeville house in town, a bank suspension and lastly, Judge Wallace. It's enough to take the humor out of anybody."
"In this man you see the one who has made and unmade vaudeville stars and Kansas City. He doesn't care whether the actor was headliner in the last city or whether he was put in the most inconspicuous place on the bill; if his act has merit, Joe will pick him out and begin work on him at once. Honest, he is the busiest man about the Orpheum theater -- no wonder he can't smile. He hasn't had time to practice.
The other picture here with the cop as centerpiece is true to life," continued the artist. "I made a sketch of this picture while standing out in the foyer of the theater, and this is just what I saw. People look upon this genial officer of the law, Joseph Bergfeld, I believe is his name, with real fear in their faces. What there is for them to be afraid of is more than I can see, for during the three years that Joseph has watched the box office window to see that the ticket seller does not take in any bad quarters, not an arrest has been made. At least that is what Joseph himself tells me.
THIS IS JOSEPH BERGFIELD, THE WEST NINTH STREET APOLLO, CAUGHT IN HIS FAVORITE POSE BY CARTOONIST BERT LEVY, WHO LABELED THE DRAWING "INTIMIDATION."
"It may be that the reason for this is that the benign cop is put together in such wonderful and fantastic proportion that the 'con' men prefer to risk arrest in some other quarters. Just what would be your feelings when you march up to the box office window and have to pass between it and a ferocious looking cop, slowly balancing himself first on his heels and then on his toes, his heavy club swinging behind his back in time to the musical movements of his body?"
Mr. Levy is cartoonist on the New York Morning Telegraph. In speaking of his life work he said:
"My career as an artist began when I was but 13 years old, in the rear of a dingy little pawnshop in Melbourne, Australia. It was a pawnshop which belonged to my brother-in-law. I was put in to mark the tickets which we used in the show window, an I would delight in cutting them out in heart-shaped and different designs. The letters I would form as artistically as possible. This gave me a start, and as days went on I began to sudy the faces of the men as they peered in through the show window looking at the articles for sale. Then I began to copy them, and I am afraid let my pawnshop business pass iwth little attention. Soon my brother in law caught me at the drawing and I was forthwith discharged. I was them put into school, and after much pleading with my father I was allowed to take a course in art.
"Two and a half years ago I left Australia and came to America. When I arrived in New York I was penniless. I had nothing save my portfolio of drawings and a courage which was born of centuries of persecution. Immeidately upon my arrival in that great whirlpool of hope and despair I went to the editors of the New York papers and tried to find a market for my work, but because I was poorly dressed, and I was, for my shoes were almost off my feet and my coat was in rags, and because I was a Jew, I was given no hope, no chance to show that I could draw.
"For five days I wandered about the Ghetto, hungry and in dire want. My meals were picked up at the free lunch counters, and my sleep, what little there was of it, I got any place htat I could find. Then after many efforts, I succeded in getting a trial on the New York Telegraph, and, well, I am still on their staff, and do work for many other large publications. I won out after a terrible struggle, but I think of the thousands of talented artists, geniuses, who are almost starving in New York simply because fate wills it."
Labels: arts, immigrants, Jews, Joe Steibel, Judge Wallace, New York, Ninth street, theater, vaudeville, visitors
April 11, 1908
MACMILLEN WILL NOT PLAY.
Fiddler Cannot "Endure Humiliation
of Arrest," He Wires.
Upon learning that Judge W. H. Wallace would order County Marshal Al Heslip to stop the concert of Frances Macmillen, violinist, at the Willis Wood theater Sunday, if it should be necessary to arrest the artist and his assistants, O. D. Woodward, manager of the theater, telegraphed the fact to Macmillen's office in New York. This reply was received last night:
"Will not play in Kansas City Sunday. Cannot endure indignity of arrest."
So, there will be no concert at the Willis Wood tomorrow. Over 600 seats have already been sold and over $200 spent in advertising. Those who have purchased tickets may have their money refunded upon applying at the ticket window.
Labels: arts, County Marshal Heslip, Judge Wallace, New York, theater
February 23, 1908
PICTURES ARE FREE TODAY.
That Is, to Look Upon, At Art Ex-
hibit, 909 Grand Avenue.
No admission charge will be made today at the art exhibit of the Fine Arts Institute, 909 Grand avenue, it having been decided to keep the exhibit open one more day than was first agreed upon for the purpose of throwing it open to the general public.
Yesterday was to have been the last day. It is not known yet whether a similar exhibit will be held next year. If it is found that the paid admissions have netted money enough to pay the larger part of the expenses, another exhibition will be given next year.
Labels: arts, Grand avenue
February 18, 1908
HISSES IN WALLACE CRUSADE.
How a Philharmonic Audience Greet-
ed an Officer Getting Names.
While a most circumspect audience of about 1,000 sat in the Willis Wood theater listening to a sacred concert last night by the Philharmonic orchestra, Carl Busch leading with the baton, a deputy county marshal walked out on the stage and took the names of the musicians. Preparations had been made for the circumstance when Conductor Busch at the outset made the statement that "after the first number there will be an intermission to allow a marshal to get the names of the players." This was not understood by many at the time, owing to the way in which it was said, but by the time the deputy appeared the mystic word "Wallace" had gone round the theater and when he walked out on the stage he was roundly hissed -- but the hisses were not for the individual but for what he typified.
Labels: arts, Carl Busch, Judge Wallace, theater
February 9, 1908
JOHN D. PATRICK'S
GREAT PARIS SALON PICTURE
ON VIEW SATURDAY.
Story of Local Man's Masterpiece,
Rescued by J. Logan Jones in
a Paris Dealer's Rooms,
and Brought Home.
Kansas City will have this week the first real opportunity it has ever had to pay an adequate tribute of appreciation to one of the gifted artists of the country who is living modestly and unobtrusively in this community. This man is John D. Patrick, whose great picture, "Brutality," which hung in the Paris salon of 1888 and was exhibited in the exposition the following year, will be on public view without charge in the Jones Dry Goods Company's art gallery on Wednesday and for a week or more.
Behind the announcement of this "exhibition" lies a story of intense human interest. The picture, a huge and graphic canvas, showing a brutal cart driver beating his horse, was the cause of the organization of the first French humane society. It was painted by Mr. Patrick in Paris twenty years ago, and has remained in that city ever since, practically in pledge for the materials with which it was painted. To the generosity of J. Logan Jones is due the opportunity of seeing this great work of art, which required six months of heartbreaking work in the mere painting, and which was praised by Meissonier. It has never been exhibited in this country, and Kansas City very fittingly has the first American view of it. It is not generally known that Mr. Patrick is the first Kansas Cityan to ever receive an art medal from the French government.
The canvas is a striking one. It is 10 x 12 feet in dimensions and it tells its story at a glance. With such marvelous atmosphere that the brutal cart driver and the magnificent Norman horse seem to be carved rather than painted, Mr. Patrick has set on unfading canvas his splendid sermon on humanity. Intense realism is the keynote of the work. The treatment is dramatic in the extreme. The great horse, of a breed that descended from the mighty Norman chargers of William of Normandy and far different from our street hacks of today, is rearing back upon his haunches in the pitiful effort to escape the rain of blows of his ruffianly master, who stands, cudgel in hand, his face blazing with cruel hatred. The picture was suggested by an actual occurrence.
This is the story of the Rosedale boy, now an instructor in the Fine Arts Institute art school, who, twenty years ago, while a struggling art student in Paris, pledged his future work to an art dealer, Fornier, for the price of his paints and painted a great masterpiece that set all Paris talking and won a medal at the 1889 exposition, where the painters of the world strove for honors and only fourteen Americans won that medal. Mr. Patrick was never able to redeem the picture and for twenty years he has mourned its absence as the loss of one dead -- this dead child of his genius which he thought he would never see again. But the resurrection was brought about by Mr. Jones, who paid the forfeiture, released the painting and sent it where it belongs -- home.
It was twenty-two years ago when Mr. Patrick, who had all but finished his course and was sadly out at elbows, was walking the streets of Paris one day and came upon the spectacle of a cart driver beating his horse, which was drawing a huge load of building rocks. Mr. Patrick's blood boiled, and to make a long story short, he gave the brutal driver a dose of his own medicine.
The young man went to his attic den and determined to show Paris what a brute it was, for horse beating was a common sight in that great, cruel city. But paints and materials cost money and Patrick had none. From dealer to dealer he went, almost begging materials and pledging his work for payment. He met with rebuff after rebuff, but finally Fornier gave him what he wanted. Then followed month after month of semi-starvation. All through the winter he froze and went hungry while he toiled and toiled, painting his heart into that great lesson of mercy.
"Olive Schreiner," in one of her beautiful "dreams," tells of a painter whose "reds" were so brilliant that they were the envy and despair of his fellows, until it was found that he opened his heart and painted with his own blood. That is what Patrick did -- he dipped the brush in his own heart. At last it was done and, too poor to hire men to take his canvas to the salon, he carried it there himself and submitted it to the judgment of the master, Meissonier, and Meissonier -- Meissonier himself -- praised it it and it was hung, despite the protests of those who feared that France would be held up to the scorn of the foreigner.
"If France deserves the scorn of the foreigner, then France must take it," was Meissonier's reply.
Patrick returned to America before he received the medal at the exposition and a series of misfortunes overtook him which brought him at last to the choice of going back to his art or staying with his mother. He stayed with his mother and the picture went back to the art dealer, who has kept it in pledge ever since, until Mr. Jones rescued it a few months ago.
None of this story comes from the lips of Mr. Patrick. Reluctant and modest verifications of facts learned elsewhere is all he will say. He was not talkative yesterday as he sat before his great work in the Jones gallery. He was thinking of the dead dream come back to life, of the long years of hunger, the weary, glorious months of ecstasy and starvation, of visions and cold and great hopes and cheerless streets when he dipped his brush into his heart and painted on and on.
Labels: arts, Jones Dry Goods
January 24, 1908
WANTED ROOMS WITH DRAFTS.
Alaskans Were Looking for Cold,
Italians for Warmth.
"Five nice cold rooms, please, with a draft in each."
The keeper of the register in the Savoy hotel dropped his pen and straightened to face ten men in double fur coats standing by the counter.
"Yes, we want cold rooms," resumed the spokesman. "We're the basketball team from Nome, Alaska. At the athletic club tonight, you know."
"All right," says the clerk, "and if the row on the top floor facing north doesn't suit, I'll have beds made up in the roof garden."
The next comers were members of the Italian grand opera company, which sings at the Willis Wood this week's end.
"It iss so cold here," said a little miss with her chin drawn down into her fur boa. "You have the very warm rooms for us, is it not?"
"Yes," said the clerk.
Labels: arts, hotels, Kansas City Athletic Club, Savoy, sports, visitors
January 16, 1908
HE MUST MAKE HONK MUSIC.
Task Confronting Bandmaster for the
To extract music from an automobile honk was the problem set for E. W. Berry, bandmaster, by the show committee of the automobile dealers yesterday. Mr. Berry's band is to furnish the music for the motor car show in Convention Hall February 3 to 8. When he was awarded the contract yesterday it was with the express stipulation that some kind of automobile music should be played.
As this sort of music is represented by only a few compositions, it was also suggested to Mr. Berry that a chance to make himself famous was presented by the contract. If there is no automobile music, the next easiest thing is to write it. The production of an automobile show march or waltz is essential, and no doubt Mr. Berry, having seen his duty, will do it.
If you see a tall, intellectual looking man testing the horns of automobiles which stand by the curb, don't mistake him for a motorist. It may be Mr. Berry investigating the musical quality of the honk.
Labels: arts, automobiles, Convention Hall, music
November 17, 1907
TO CENSOR THE THEATERS
CITY MAY ADOPT A MEASURE TO PRE-
VENT INDECENT PERFORMANCES.
The Question Considered at a Conference
Between the Mayor, City Counselor
and Alderman Young -- To Reg-
ulate Picture Machines.
A definite move to prevent indecent performances at theaters and the exhibition of obscene pictures at picture machine parlors was made yesterday at a conference, attended by Mayor Beardsley, E. C. Meservey, city counselor, and Alderman C. A. Young.
Complaints have reached the mayor and the police board about some of the acts at some of the small vaudeville houses. Pictures in some of the picture machine establishments have also been the cause of complaint.
Mr. Meservey was instructed to prepare an amendment to the license ordinance. The ordinance will follow the police board's method of treating saloons for violation of the Sunday closing law. A conviction in police court will carry with it a revocation of the license. The ordinance will provide that the license for a theater or picture show shall obligate the holder to conform to provisions of the license ordinance, prohibiting immoral or obscene acts or exhibitions. When complaint is filed with the city attorney and prosecution started the police judge really becomes the censor. He passes on the evidence and when he decrees a fine it will carry with it a revocation of the license. The ordinance will be introduced by Alderman Young.
Labels: arts, Mayor Beardsley, police board
November 6, 1907
TO JUMP IN POOL HANDCUFFED.
Special Performance by Houdini at the
Athletic Club To-Day.
Houdini, whose performance at the Orpheum consists in releasing himself from handcuffs and manacles of other kinds, will give a special exhibition at the Athletic club at 12:15 o'clock to-day. Handcuffs will be placed about his wrists and leg manacles about his ankles. He will then jump into the deepest part of the pool and attempt to release himself from the shackles under water. Houdini has performed this feat in other cities, having jumped from bridges while wearing handcuffs and manacles of other kinds.
Labels: arts, Kansas City Athletic Club
November 3, 1907
HOUDINI AND MARTIN LEHMAN.
The Orpheum Manager Gave the "Hand-
cuff King" His Start in Vaudeville.
Harry Houdini, the feature attraction at the Orpheum theater this week, got his start in vaudeville in Kansas City. In the early days of his career Houdini was a contortionist, trapeze performer and general utility man with the Jack Hoefler Circus, and later a member of a company of barnstormers.
One of his turns was to permit himself to be tied to a chair with ropes, from which he would extricate himself. One day while playing in Chetopa, Kas., with a small traveling show, Houdini asked for volunteers to come up and tie him. A sheriff, who happened to be present with a pair of handcuffs, cried out, "If you let me come on the stage I will tie you with these so you cannot escape." Houdini had never seen a pair of handcuffs before. The idea of using them as a feature suggested itself to him and he hence took up the study of locks. He acquired several pairs of handcuffs and in a short time acquired the faculty of extricating himself from them.
He went to Chicago where he met Mr. Walters, then president of the Orpheum circuit, and importuned him to give him an engagement on the circuit.
Mr. Walters, impressed with the young man's eloquence, sent him to Kansas City with a letter of instructions to Martin Lehman, manager of the Orpheum. Instructions in the letter were to "try this Houdini, and if his act was good to book him on the circuit." On receipt of the letter Mr. Lehman coached Houdini thoroughly and put him on the bill. Houdini met with such pronounced success he was given a contract over the entire Orpheum circuit. Since that time he has traveled all over the world.
Labels: arts, Chicago, circus, daredevils, theater, vaudeville
October 25, 1907
MUSIC AND DRAMA.
Miss Barrymore's New Play, "Her
Sister," at Willis Wood.
Clyde Fitch and Cosmo Gordon Lennox have done in "Her Sister," Miss Ethel Barrymore's latest offering, seen at the Willis Wood for the first time last night, the best work Mr. Fitch has done in years.
Acted splendidly by the most evenly balanced company seen here in a long time, headed by miss Ethel Barrymore, one of the most convincing of the present day actresses, the piece is an offering of unusual dramatic interest and was given a warm reception by a very large audience. As a vehicle for Miss Barrymore's sterling gifts, both as a light comedienne and as an actress of emotional attainments, it is the most satisfying which she has presented here in many seasons. The supporting company is so far in advance of the usual run of stellar assistance that the production is really notable in this respect and yet Miss Barrymore, like the true artist she is, does not suffer in the least.
As Eleanor Alderson, the sister who sacrifices her own hopes of happiness to save her thoughtless but innocent sister, Miss Barrymore carried off the fine second act, where she defends her sister, magnificently. No more convincingly natural bit of acting has been done here in a long time. But throughout the play every requirement, whether of the lightest comedy, the tenderest sentiment or the strongest feeling, was met with artistic assurance that was convincing in the highest degree. Miss Barrymore's vibrant voice has a peculiarly girlish quality that instead of hampering strong scenes with indications of weakness really adds to their effectiveness, while it is admirably suited to the comedy lines.
The setting of the piece is extremely tasteful. The first act occurs in the temple of Isis, the fortune teller, otherwise Eleanor, and permits Mr. Fitch to get in his inevitable touch of the picturesquely improbably. The other two acts take place in the country home of the Bickleys and are pictorially satisfying. In fact, it would be difficult to recall a more thoroughly pleasing play, one better acted or cleverer from every point of view.
Labels: arts, theater
September 19, 1907
"THE FALL OF FRISCO."
Campbell's Earthquake and Fire-
works Spectacle Coming.
Kansas City will see something new in Campbell's earthquake and fireworks spectacle, "The Destruction of San Francisco." This production, which has never been presented here before, comes on Wednesday, the 25th, for ten nights. The exhibition will be on the circus lot at Fifteenth street and Kansas avenue. The exhibition consists of San Francisco as it was before the disaster, with 350 people on the busy streets, then the earthquake, followed by the fire, laying the city in ashes and ruins, while the people rush for the ferries in their attempt to escape from the city.
The scenic picture is 400 feet in length and is an accurate reproduction of Market street, showing, among other buildings, the city hall, the Call building and and the memorable Ferry building as they were both before and after the earthquake and fire. There are fifteen carloads of scenery and fireworks, making up this production, and counting the mechanical staff, 450 people are required in the production.
A magnificent display of fireworks fills out an evening's entertainment.
Labels: amusement, arts, Fifteenth street, fireworks, Kansas avenue
September 17, 1907
STILWELL'S LIBERAL OFFER.
Will Bring Boston Symphony Orches-
tra to Kansas City.
The Kansas City Oratorio Society had its first rehearsal at the Conservatory of Music auditorium last night. There were sixty voices present. Before leaving for Mexico yesterday A. E. Stilwell, president of the society, announced that he had arranged to bring to Kansas City on March 8 the well-known Symphony orchestra of Boston.
The plan was viewed with such general favor that it was later decided to make an effort to increase the voices of the society from sixty to 300 in the interim, the entire chorus to sing with the orchestra. The concert will probably be given at Convention hall.
The next rehearsal will be next Monday evening at the Conservatory auditorium.
Labels: Arthur Stilwell, arts, Boston, Convention Hall, Mexico
September 10, 1907
AN ACTOR SMOKING OPIUM.
Player Caught in a Police Raid at
Sixth and Wyandotte.
When Detectives Boyle, Orford, Ravenscamp and Lewis raided an opium den at Sixth and Wyandotte streets last night they found four men smoking opium. One of them was an actor and he pleaded the necessity of appearing on the stage last night. He was released in time to fill his engagement. The other men are being held for investigation.
Labels: arts, detectives, narcotics, Sixth street, Wyandotte street
September 6, 1907
PANIC AT RECITAL
SOMEONE SHOUTED FIRE WHEN A
RUSH FOR EXITS FOLLOWS.
COOLNESS OF PRESIDENT COWAN
Audience at Conservatory of Music
and Art Thrown Into an Uproar
When Two Women Tumbled
Down the Stairs -- Sever-
al Trampled On.
Two women falling down stairs was the cause of a panic at an assistant teachers' recital at the Conservatory of Music and Art at Tenth and Oak streets last night. The commotion on the stairs, which led down from a small hallway entering into the hall where the recital was in progress, attracted the attention of those near the door. Some one suggested it was a fight. Several ushers rushed out and the remark was carried on in whispers across the room until someone, misunderstanding the original word, screamed "fire."
Miss Pearl Collins was singing Tosti's "Ninon." Her voice was drowned in the clamor that followed. In an instant almost the entire audience was on its feet and a wild scramble for the door was already started when J. A. Cowan, president of the institution, rushed upon the stage and shouted to the people to keep their seats, assuring them that there is no cause for alarm.
Several people were knocked down and would have doubtless been trampled on in another moment had not the panic been quelled when it was. While Mr. Cowan was shouting assurances from the stage the janitor of the building was attempting to quiet the people in the back of the hall.
The hall was crowded to its capacity and many people stood outside the door, making it impossible for those inside to know what was transpiring a few feet behind them. The unusual feature of the incident was that almost as soon as Mr. Cowan appeared and began to talk to the audience, the panic ceased and most of the people resumed their seats in apparent composure. The programme was then carried out.
Neither of the women -- a young girl and an elderly matron -- who caused the panic was seriously hurt. They had been sitting together during the recital and during Miss Collins' solo, the girl became ill and left the room. The other woman accompanied her and just as they reached the head of the stairs, the girl fainted. In falling she pulled her companion with her and the two started to roll down the steps toward the street door. The janitor, who was standing near, succeeded in catching the girl when she was about half way down, but the older woman rolled to the bottom, receiving several bruises and a cut across the bridge of her nose. The young woman received some minor bruises.
Labels: accident, arts, Oak street, Tenth street
August 26, 1907
BACK TO THE GIANTS.
MABEL HITE SENDS MIKE
DONLIN EAST TO REFORM.
CUT OUT OF WIFE'S SONG.
TWO VERSES MISSING FROM
"I'M MARRIED NOW."
Grease Paint and Gay Costume Hide
Aching Heart of Kansas City
Actress -- Penitent Ball
Player Is Put on
Pretty Kansas City Actress Who Has
Put Her Husband, Mike Donlin, of the
New York Giants, on Probation.
CHICAGO, Aug. 25 (Special). -- Grease paints and uncouth costume can hide a breaking heart from the laughing audience on the other side of the footlights, but when Mabel Hite yesterday afternoon sought the only refuge she had, a 4x5 dressing box -- it couldn't be called even by courtesy a room -- large tears stole down a woebegone, little face.
She wiped them off with the corner of a Turkish towel, taking a bit of the rouge with it and hoped Mike would get better.
For the pretty little Kansas City girl sent Mike Donlin, the ball player, who is her husband, down to New York, buying his ticket and giving him the price of a Russian bath, which boiled out the remnants of the various liquids that had developed four days' spree, with an assault on a cabdriver and a cell in the police station for trimmings.
Donlin has promised to cut out booze in the future and sign with the New York Giants and if he's good for the next six months he can come back -- otherwise a divorce.
WORRIED SO CAN'T SLEEP.
I can't stand it any longer," said the little comedienne -- she's a child in figure and manner. "Now you don't think it's such a dreadful thing for a woman's husband to get drunk and in the newspapers, do you? But it means so much when you love a man and he'd promised not to do it. And every time it happens it's so much worse and it worries me so I can't sleep and I have to go out before that audience and act like a fool and make them laugh, and sing my songs and dance, and my heart is breaking. For he's good to me, except when he forgets himself."
A little while before she'd been singing "For I'm Married Now," and the appreciate ones on the other side of the footlights who'd called her back six or seven times, didn't know how hard -- how extremely hard -- it was to carry a smiling face through the trying ordeal.
TWO FAMILIAR VERSES OUT.
But she'd cut out two verses, and old players who remembered them and had heard about Mike knew the reason.
I'd like to go with you to lunchin'
But I've got a hunchin
That I'd get a punchin'
And I just hate to wear a veil
For I'm married now.
That was one of the verses that was eliminated from her song in "A Knight for a Day" at Whitney's. The other was:
Tell Mike a lie
I'd best not try.
I may be fly --
But no fly gets by him.
And the villain -- he admitted he was all that and was most penitent -- was in the office of the playhouse. He had slunk past the policeman who has been on guard for the last three days, fearing a possible outbreak by the ball player and was waiting to send a message of extreme contrition -- a message that Mabel wouldn't receive in person.
CALLAHAN CHIEF PEACEMAKER.
There were plenty of peacemakers, but nothing but a six months' probation will answer for Mike. James Callahan, his friend and manager of the Logan Squares, who had straightened matters up with the police, told how the husband and wife had slept in his house, at Thirty-fifth street and Indiana avenue, last Thursday night, unknown to each other.
After the cab episode, and after Callahan had got the soused one out of a police cell, he took him home. Mabel, who lives a block away, went to Callahan's house in great trouble.
A little earlier Thursday night Donlin went to the theater and demanded to see his wife. His breath was thick and he talked loud. Jouhny Slavin took him down to the corner and argued him into a cab, and that was why the scrubwoman's part in the show that night -- Donlin's role -- was performed by an understudy.
Donlin met Mabel Hite a year and a half ago in New York, and they were married soon afterward. He never saw her act before the marriage. She was in vaudeville or something similar. Off the stage she's girlish and pretty. Donlin met her at a dinner party.
Labels: arts, Indiana avenue, Mabel Hite, marriage, newspapers, sports, Thirty-fifth street
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Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri