Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mae West: Arbus Auction

You will want to tour the 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition to see one of MAE WEST's corsets and a pair of her platform shoes on display at the FIDM Museum. They also have a copy of her footprints (used to make the customized footgear); Mae's right foot has the high arch of a ballerina but not her left, which appears to be flat-footed. The very colorful exhibition closes this month on 28 April 2012. The FIDM Museum is in downtown Los Angeles.
• • Arbus Auction Wednesday, 11 April 2012 • •
• • Act quickly if you'd like to buy the photo "Mae West in a Chair at Home, Santa Monica, California" [1965] by Diane Arbus. This auction ends today, on Wednesday, 11 April 2012.
• • Markings: signed, on verso in ink by Doon Arbus, Executor of the Estate of Diane Arbus; printed by Neil Selkirk; editioned on verso, stamps of the Estate of Diane Arbus on verso. Edition: of 75. Auctioned by ArtNet.com. Yes, there is an opening bid of a few thou.
• • Kent Taylor [11 May 1907 — 11 April 1987] • •
• • Debonair Kent Taylor portrayed the well-heeled playboy Kirk Lawrence, a dapper dan who pursues Tira tirelessly in "I'm No Angel" [1933].
• • Born on an Iowa farm on 11 May 1907 [birthname Louis William Weiss], Kent Taylor was tall [six feet], dark, and handsome enough for the silver screen — — but lacked the requisite magnetism and charisma for stardom. A modestly popular B-list player during the 1930s and 1940s, he evolved into a character actor who took part in over 100 films until the mid-1970s.
• • Though the character Jack Clayton does not appear until halfway though "I'm No Angel," Cary Grant [1904 — 1986] immediately gets a close-up and a solo, since we see Jack alone in his office on the phone, offering the viewer a certain va-va-voom vibe that is denied to Kirk Lawrence.
• • During the early 1950s, with both his rugged good looks and film offers on the decline, Kent Taylor turned more often to TV's temptations, becoming the medium's "Boston Blackie" (1951) for a couple of seasons, a role that had him following in the popular footsteps of film's Chester Morris as the urbane master thief-cum-detective.
• • Though 14-karat career kismet eluded Kirk Lawrence, he was rich in marital felicity. In 1930, the 23-year-old was still working for his father's awning company in Los Angeles when he hooked up with Augusta Kulek, who was probably overjoyed to shed a maiden name bookended by two Ks. They had three children and were happily hitched until his death in the month of April — — on 11 April 1987 — — following a series of heart operations. He was 79 years old.
• • On Tuesday, 11 April 1911 in Milwaukee • •
• • According to Time Magazine: Myrtle Lorraine Sands, a young woman who used to work in Los Angeles, where she had fun spotting film folk in public places, is now in charge of re-indexing the records of births, marriages & deaths in the office of the County Register of Deeds, Milwaukee. One day last fortnight, when she happened upon Marriage Certificate No. 40553, Myrtle Sands's eyes bulged, her heart jumped. The certificate proclaimed the union of Frank Wallace and Mae West, of Brooklyn, N. Y., April 11, 1911. . . [Time, 6 May 1935].
• • Mae West and Frank Wallace (Frank Szatkus) tied the knot on Tuesday, 11 April 1911, but Mae claimed they did not live together. Mae described herself as a kiss-less bride. Shortly after, Wallace wed another woman and Mae married Guido Deiro. Mr. and Mrs. Wallace divorced officially on 23 July 1942.
• • On Thursday, 11 April 1912 • •
• • As a teenager, Mae West was cast in the Broadway musical "A Winsome Widow," which was onstage from 11 April 1912 — 7 September 1912. During the second act, one of her ensemble numbers was "Toodle-oodle-oodle on Your) Piccolo" — — billed as a performance by Willie Grow and Girls — — which gave one trade paper another chance to swat the jazzy brunette. Perhaps the critics ought to have slammed the composer Henry Irving Marshall [1883 — 1958] and the Dublin-born lyricist Stanley Murphy [1875 — 1919] for not doing their best, eh?
• • Despite the razzing she got for "Toodle-oodle . . .," Mae West's character La Petite Daffy won some acclaim for her display of vivacity and sauciness. "Mae West assaults the welkin vigorously," applauded the New York Dramatic Mirror from their tony offices on West 42nd Street right opposite the New York Public Library.
• • Acid threats on 11 April 1934 • •
• • There was indignation in the interviews she gave following the threats on April 11th about acid being thrown in her face. Mae told the news media: "It's time someone in Hollywood — — speaking very frankly — — showed what is known as intestinal fortitude. They threaten us in the picture colony under penalty of having acid thrown in our face. And they don't stop at acid threats either. They threaten to kill. It's time someone called their hand. And if it has to be me, I'll do it."
• • Mae soon announced that she was getting an armored limo to protect Jim Timony and herself.
• • Mae West Trivia • •
• • A translation center told us this: The phrase "Mae West" occurs as such in the following languages: English, Afrikaans, Czech, Danish, German, Spanish, French, West Frisian, Croatian, Indonesian, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian (BokmÃ¥l), Polish, Portuguese, Simple English, Serbo-Croatian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I have never wanted to flaunt my romances in public."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A newspaper item mentioned Mae West.
• • Cranes Today staff wrote: German crane rental firm Schmidbauer has helped to erect a 52m tall sculpture, named after the 1930’s Hollywood icon Mae West, on a busy roundabout in Munich. . . .
• • Source: Article: "Mae West cuts a fine figure in Munich" written by Cranes Today staff; for Cranes Today Magazine published on 11 April 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2267th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • from the series by Diane Arbus, 1965 • •
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