Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Mae West: Art Prostituted

Ithaca, New York gets plentiful snow and, during March 1937, some Mae-mavens used the abundant white stuff to construct a "gigantic figure" of MAE WEST on the campus of Cornell University. Unfortunately, "some unthinking persons" decided to destroy the glorious winter sculpture. The campus paper aggressively took up the cause. Good for them!
• • "Art Prostituted" • •
• • The Cornell Daily Sun editors wrote:  The destruction of the snow statue in front of White Hall is only one of the numerous indications of the utter decline of culture at Cornell. The Architects labored long and lustily at the task of completing, for the art lovers of the campus, the gigantic figure of Mae West. It was felt that this version of a modern Venus would stand out as an attempt to lift undergraduates above the grasp of material things into the shadow of artistic appreciation.
• • The Cornell Daily Sun editors continued:  That some unthinking persons should have destroyed such art is a clear indication of the depths to which culture and artistic appreciation have dropped on this campus.  It is our sincere hope that such an atrocity will not occur again. Great art must not suffer for petty prejudice!
• • Source: Article in The Cornell Daily Sun [New York]; published on Wednesday, 3 March 1937.
• • On Thursday, 3 March 1927 • •
• • A familiar image of a smiling Mae West at her "Sex" trial in New York City on Thursday, 3 March 1927, has the incorrect caption that she was "on the witness stand." However, Mae did not take the stand in March nor in April 1927. Why? Mae's motivations are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West" during the chaotic courtroom scene [Act I, Scene 5].
• • On Tuesday, 3 March 1936 • •
• • On Tuesday, 3 March 1936, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the opening week of "Klondike Annie" was record-breaking. "The Gold Rush Is On," the editors wrote.
• • In Jet Magazine on 3 March 1955 • •
• • Jet Magazine printed a sad piece of news — — "Mae West's Chauffeur, Ray Wallace, Commits Suicide in Indiana" — — in their issue dated for 3 March 1955. Sitting inside the actress's plush Cadillac, the 44-year-old former G.I. hooked up the exhaust pipe to flood the vehicle with toxic fumes. He lay under a quilt and breathed his last. Mae's Caddy was parked on a farm near Patoka, Indiana at the time. Tsk, tsk.
• • "Love Goddesses" — Wednesday,  3 March 1965 • •
• • Mae West film footage is used in the documentary "Love Goddesses," originally released in the month of March — — on Wednesday, 3 March 1965.
• • On Friday, 3 March 1978 • • 

• • A gala premiere of "Sextette" starring Mae West took place at the Pacific Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California at 8:30 pm on Thursday, 2 March 1978. And after the screening, at 10:00 pm, a special invitation paved your way into a late-night supper honoring the movie queen at the tony Beverly Hills Hilton on Wilshire at Santa Monica Boulevard. How memorable this event must have been.
• • On Friday, 3 March 1978 "Sextette" had its general release in the USA.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • "Night After Night" was 73 minutes long. No one remembers anything about this film except for the hilarious moments when Mae West was onscreen.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I had in mind several stories as possibilities, and between shows I secluded myself at my hotel or in my dressing room and did some real work."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Library Journal mentioned Mae West.
• • Jules Massenet and "Cendrillon" • •
• • John Holland wrote:  Played on what is basically a unit set, painted with enlarged text from the Perrault tale, the production of "Cendrillon" is set in no particular time or place, the costumes generally designed to identify the characters and their place in society. The one exception is the fairy godmother, who is costumed as a sort of Mae West-like vamp — — perhaps stage director Laurent Pelly is trying to give Massenet his bad girl after all? No harm is done by it . . .
• • Source: Article printed in Library Journal;  published in March 2013 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone this week: 3,100 posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3126th 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 • in 1937

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