Place Published: NP
Date Published: 1911 & 1922
Binding: No binding
Two silver gelatin photos, 19cm x20.5cm (7-1/2 x 8 inches) both signed by Arnold Genthe. Photos probably circa 1911 and the Belasco signed print is dated 1922?. Overall very good condition.
One with an inscription poem by the well know playwright impresario David Belasco, to important listed artist [William] Haskell Coffin [1877-1941] (famous WWI poster with Jeanne D'arc); a poem of revelatory nature. Belasco, inscription reacts to Haskell Coffins remark about him having bedroom eyes. (underneath the dedication says: a boy of terrible ideas...)
The other photo is signed in the bottom right by Genthe.
Quite a nice Genthe silver gelatin signed photo with the incorporation of the Belasco inscription and Coffin ownership. Three very well known people all linked in this intriguing photo!
It is very curious from a provenance viewpoint, the previous dealer indicated both of these silver gelatin photos came from a son of Haskell Coffin and the whole collection contained diaries photos family and friends and many photos. One wonders why there would be an inscribed Belaco photo and other only signed by Genthe. Another story?
Inscription "To Haskell Coffin (a boy of terrible ideas) I will not show those eyes which you have said Should not be put in any fellows head Nor hint at my complete- my shocked surprise When you informed me "you have bedroom eyes". David Belasco. Belasco was probably as comprehensive a theatre practitioner as could be – actor, stage manager, pioneer of stage lighting, director, playwright, manager – Belasco did them all. He also discovered Mary Pickford. From 1884-1930, Belasco produced over 100 shows on Broadway. Belasco was informally known in the theatrical community as "the Bishop of Broadway,"
William Haskell Coffin (1877-1941) A well-known magazine illustrator and figure and portrait painter in New York City. Marriage (1): Ida BREMAN on 30 April 1908 in New York, NY. Marriage (2): Frances STARR on 27 May 1920 in New York, NY, United States. W Haskell Coffin probably due to personal and financial problems that he committed suicide in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1941.
Arnold Genthe was a German-born American photographer, best known for his photos of San Francisco's Chinatown, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and his portraits of noted people, from politicians and socialites to literary figures and entertainment celebrities. In 1911 he moved to New York City, where he remained until his death of a heart attack in 1942. He worked primarily in portraiture.
Very Good. Item #4785