Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mae West: Ampersand Vintage

MAE WEST, sketched on 3 May 1934 by Laura Lucille Witman, is on view in this vintage solo exhibit "The Morning After the Night Before." Though the display is up until 22 July 2012 at a gallery in Portland, you can also view this outsider art online. Her portrait of Mae West has not found a buyer yet. A close-up of Pola Negri is also still available, though Vilma Banky has been sold. Amusingly, the gallery refers to the figures as "imaginary movie starlets" but those with a good grasp of the early cinema will be able to identify most of the faces.
• • All paintings and portraits are by Laura Lucille Witman, who started drawing when she was in high school during the 1920s.
• • Ampersand Vintage wrote: "Our July exhibition takes its title from a captioned drawing made in 1927 by a young woman named Laura Lucille Witman. The drawing is one of several found glued to the pages or loosely tucked away in a brightly-colored and brittle-paged scrapbook from the same era. Markings on the drawings allow us to deduce that Lucille was a sophomore in 1927 and was married by 1934, the year her maiden name gives way to O'Neil and the same year she made drawings of a lustrous Mae West and a wistful-eyed Hollywood cowboy. For a young woman living in Victorville, California, situated as it is on the fringe of the Mojave Desert, Hollywood must have been a glamorous dream made somewhat distant by the barrier of the San Bernardino Mountains. No wonder, then, that her drawings are filled with the risque trappings of imaginary movie starlets."
• • Where: Ampersand Vintage: 2916 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR
• • When: June 27th — July 22nd, 2012
• • Basil Rathbone [13 June 1892 — 21 July 1967] • •
• • Mae West was arrested on 9 February 1927 along with the cast of "Sex" and the cast of "The Captive."
• • Snooty Basil Rathbone, who died in July — — on Friday, 21 July 1967 in New York, NY — — was cuffed and brought downtown to Jefferson Market Police Court along with Helen Menken and their co-stars.
• • Born in South Africa on 13 June 1892, Basil Rathbone was one year older than Mae West — — but in his mind, he was worlds apart even though they were both starring on Broadway in 1927.
• • During the 1920s, most of Basil Rathbone's work was in the legitimate theater. For many of his Broadway roles he portrayed a suave, sophisticated seducer of women — — quite a change from the legendary ascetic Baker Street detective he would play later in his career.
• • On Friday, 21 July 1933 in Los Angeles • •
• • On Friday, 21 July 1933 a wire service photo from Wide World with an attached paper caption explained that "Mae West Blonde Stage and Screen Star Made a Sensation at the Huge Public Barbecue Given by Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz." Mae is wearing a sweet small hat in the photo, seemingly inspired by the perky paper caps worn in the 1930s by soda jerks.
• • Eugene W. Biscailuz [12 March 1883 — 16 May 1969] was the 27th Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California and organized the California Highway Patrol.
• • On Tuesday, 21 July 1936 • •
• • On Tuesday, 21 July 1936 this curious article was printed in The New York Herald.
• • "Mae West Type of Posture Is Hit by Doctor" was a health how-to, informing readers that Mae's posture and the "society slouch" for women, and the military carriage for men, were condemned as menaces to health by Dr. Olive B. Williams of Worcester, Mass. ... The Mae West figure, with its wasp waist and held-in abdomen, its squared back shoulders and upper body bent forward, is bad for feminine health, said Dr. Williams ....
• • On Monday, 21 July 2008 in Utah • •
• • A scene from Mae West's play "The Drag" was performed in Salt Lake City, in the heart of Mormon country, at 7:00 pm on Monday, 21 July 2008.
• • Who gets to decide what works are suitable to be offered to the public? That was the question on the minds of the interesting people who run Utah's Plan-B Theatre Company.
• • NPR's Doug Fabrizio was one of the show's hosts. Fabrizio introduced the presenters and also acted in a scene from a banned Mae West play called "The Drag," written in 1926.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Men and jewels are my hobby."
• • Mae West said: "I am captive to myself."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An item about Mae West appeared in a  college paper in 1934.
• • In 1934, the campus magazine Temple News printed this: "Did you know that Mae West would have been an honor student at college, if she went to a college where the grading was done on a curve?"  ...
• • Source: Temple News, 1934
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2370th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • 1934 drawing
• •
Feed — —
  Mae West.

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