Two Centuries of Show Biz Ephemera

Posted in Performances

After the final word is spoken and the last chord fades, all that is left of a performance is the slightly less ephemeral paperwork, publicity and props. From the Golden Age of Italian Opera to the Unknown Comic wearing a paper bag over his head, it is an interesting world of ephemera, redolent of long runs and quick exits stage left. What can we gather?


This battered carte de visite photo is of Anna Held, “The Girl with the Hourglass Figure.” She was a French singer and actress whose lover and promoter, Florenz Ziegfeld, cleverly publicized Miss Held’s beauty secret as a “milk bath” to attract the attention of the press. That and other publicity ploys set a standard procedure for making big stars of performers. Held returned the favor by suggesting that Ziegfeld model a show after the popular Follies in Paris.
Anna Held 
Carte de Visite 
64 W 23rd St New York 
Approx. 4” x 6” 

Theatre of Memory program: Two Centuries of Show Biz Ephemera