Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Indianapolis News & Montreal Star & two advertisements

Microfilm of the Montreal Daily Star and the Indianapolis News was waiting for me at the library this week. I went through a number of months of each, where I uncovered articles and reviews relating to the Denishawn performances in each town. Denishawn performed twice in Indianapolis during Louise Brooks' tenure with the company, and though she wasn't mentioned by name in the Indianapolis News reviews (she was mentione din an earlier article), one of pieces she and three others performed was singled out for praise. (Martha Graham's efforts were deemed "satisfactory.") Here is an advertisement from the Indianapolis News for the December 4, 1922 Denishawn performance. Notice that Rachmaninoff - the great pianist and composer - followed the Denishawn performance in Indianapolis just six days later.

Culturally speaking, those were heady times: Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Louise Brooks, Martha Graham and Sergie Rachmaninoff in conjunction. I noticed another interesting advertisement while looking through the Indianapolis News. The ad was for a local hardware store run by Kurt Vonnegut's family. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - the now celebrated novelist and author of Slaughterhouse Five (one of my favorite novels and movies) - was born in Indianapolis just three weeks prior to the Denishawn performance. Kurt Jr. would later work in the family hardware store.

Besides the Denishawn material (and some nifty period advertisements), I also scored film reviews of The American Venus (1926) and A Social Celebrity (1926) from both the Montreal Daily Star and the Indianapolis News. It was a good day at the library. Citations for this material will be added to the LBS bibliographies later today.

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