Thursday, April 20, 2006

Research report

Yesterday's trip to the library was productive. I got articles and advertisements for the two Denishawn Dance Company performances in Houston, Texas. Remarkably, the Houston Post gave each performance a glowing front page review. (Of the hundreds of performances, I have only come across a handful of front page reviews. Usually, the reviews are buried inside the newspaper - and usually on the arts or entertainment pages. And once on the sports page.) I also went through some rolls of the Atlanta Georgian, a Hearst newspaper. From it I scored some Denishawn material, as well as a few early film reviews. I plan to request additional rolls of this paper, as a have the local screening dates of Brooks' films in Atlanta from having gone through the Atlanta Constitution. I also went through a couple of rolls of microfilm of the Wilmington Morning News in hopes of finding some Delaware film reviews, but found nothing.

Besides the usual hunt through newspapers for Denishawn and film reviews, I also took a look at the Cherryvale Daily Republican - the newspaper from Louise Brooks' hometown (before her family relocated to Independence and then Wichita). I looked at microfilm from around the time of Brooks birth - November 14, 1906 - as well as mid-1908. From the 1906 issue, I found an article, "Assistant Counsellor Is a Girl," announcing the future actress' birth on the day she was born. It took a bit to find it, as this two sentence piece is very brief. I was fun to scour this Cherryvale, Kansas newspaper from 100 years ago. It was interesting to see local news stories as well as advertisements for the Cherryvale bookstore, for a music shop advertising pianos, for the local grocier, etc....

Here is a nifty advertisement I came across which advertises a Chautaqua meeting. Louise Brooks' mother (along with Brooks herself) attended many such events. This one promises "nine days of mental uplift and enjoyement." Among the speakers is the Hon. Warren G. Harding - future President of the United States.

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