Very Early Showgirl Era Marion Davies Vintage 1910s Ira L. Hill Photograph Rare

Very Early Showgirl Era Marion Davies Vintage 1910s Ira L. Hill Photograph Rare

Very Early Showgirl Era Marion Davies Vintage 1910s Ira L. Hill Photograph Rare

Very Early Showgirl Era Marion Davies Vintage 1910s Ira L. Hill Photograph Rare

Very Early Showgirl Era Marion Davies Vintage 1910s Ira L. Hill Photograph Rare

We are honored to be your one-stop, 5-star source for vintage pin up, pulp magazines, original illustration art, decorative collectibles and ephemera with a wide and always changed assortment of antique and vintage items from the Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Mid-Century Modern eras. All items are 100% guaranteed to be original, vintage, and as described. All sell no reserve! ITEM: A vintage and original c. 1910s pictorialist portrait of Marion Davies, pre-Hollywood. Hill has photographed the then Broadway chorus girl glowing like a halo under the studio lights. A fantastic and rare view of the actress who is oftentimes remembered more for her 30+ year affair with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst than for her film roles. Measures 7 3/4″ x 9 3/4″ with margins on a glossy double weight paper stock. Photographer’s ink stamp on verso. Please use the included images as a conditional guide. Marion Cecelia Douras was born in the borough of Brooklyn, New York on January 3, 1897. She had been bitten by the show biz bug early as she watched her sisters perform in local stage productions. She wanted to do the same. As Marion got older, she tried out for various school plays and did fairly well. Once her formal education had ended, Marion began her career as a chorus girl in New York City and eventually found herself in the famed Ziegfeld Follies. But she wanted more than to dance. Acting, to Marion, was the epitome of show business and aimed her sights in that direction. Her first film was Runaway, Romany (1917) when she was 20. Written by Marion and directed by her brother-in-law, the film wasn’t exactly a box-office smash, but for Marion, it was a start and a stepping stone to bigger things. The following year Marion starred in three films, The Burden of Proof (1918), [error], and Cecilia of the Pink Roses (1918). The latter film was backed by newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, with whom Marion would continue a long-term romantic relationship for the next 30 years. Because of Hearst’s newspaper empire, Marion would be promoted as no actress before her. She appeared in numerous films over the next few years, with The Cinema Murder (1919) being one of the most suspenseful. In 1922, Marion appeared as Mary Tudor in the historical romantic epic, When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922). It was a film into which Hearst poured in millions of dollars as a showcase for her. Although Marion didn’t normally appear in period pieces, she turned in a wonderful performance and the film turned a profit. Marion remained busy, one of the staples in movie houses around the country. At the end of the twenties, it was obvious that sound films were about to replace the silents. Marion was nervous because she had a stutter when she became excited and worried she wouldn’t make a successful transition to the new medium, but she was a true professional who had no problem with the change. Time after time, film after film, Marion turned in masterful performances. In 1930, two of her better films were Not So Dumb (1930) and The Florodora Girl (1930). By the early 30s, Marion had lost her box office appeal and the downward slide began. Had she been without Hearst’s backing, she possibly could have been more successful. He was more of a hindrance than a help. Hearst had tried to push MGM executives to hire Marion for the role of Elizabeth Barrett in The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934). Mayer had other ideas and hired producer Irving Thalberg’s wife, Norma Shearer instead. Hearst reacted by pulling his newspaper support for MGM without much impact. Without her the Hearst Corporation might not be where it is today. Hearst’s financial problems also spelled the end to her career. Although she had made the transition to sound, other stars fared better and her roles became fewer and further between. In 1937, a 40 year old Marion filmed her last movie, Ever Since Eve (1937). Out of films and with the intense pressures of her relationship with Hearst, Marion turned to more and more to alcohol. Despite those problems, Marion was a very sharp and savvy business woman. After the death of Hearst in 1951, Marion married for the first time at the age of 54, to Horace Brown. The union would last until she died of cancer on September 22, 1961 in Los Angeles, California. She was 64 years old. IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson Ira L. Hill, New York City, NY Biography By: David S. Shields Descendent of one of the first families of Virginia, Ira Hill was born and educated in Chicago. He moved to New York to attend college and stayed after graduation. In 1904 he partnered with Louis de Silva, son of New Haven’s foremost portrait photographer, to form De Silva & Hill Studio. From the first the Studio sought to place images of beautiful women in magazines as illustrations. A suite of images in Hampton magazine initiated this campaign to build their brand. Hill proved the more adept of the partners in negotiating with editors. After two and a half years conjoined, Hill broke with the business in 1907 opened his portrait studio at 403 5th Avenue in Manhattan specializing in the Gibson Head. By placing his portraits with Town & Country magazine in 1910, he established himself as the most fashionable Society Photographer in New York City, and slowly took the Blue Blood trade from Marceau Studio and Pach Brothers despite not being listed in the social register. Success did not bring out the admirable traits in Hill’s character. American newspapers featured details of his lurid 1911 divorce from Estelle Baker Hill bearing headlines such as, “Boasted of His Love Affairs, So Wife Declared” and She Needn’t Be Jealous, for there was Not One But Many. ” The stories suggested a life in which Hill squired several metropolitan beauties around town in his motor car, with particular attentiveness to a “Mrs. This 1911 breakup presaged a series of domestic difficulties over the course of his life. If turning Society women into Gibson Heads established his reputation, Hill knew he had to diversify his client base. The Society trade would be his bread and butter (during Hill’s 40 year career, he had more portraits appear in the Society Pages of the New York Times than any contemporary studio) but he quickly exploited his entree with magazine editors by approaching clothing retailers, becoming one of the first generation of fashion photographers. In the 1910s, because of the popularization of the theater among younger members of the upper crust by Alice Lewisohn, High Society would became involved with Broadway. In 1914 Hill, taking Society’s cue, began generating luxurious theatrical publicity portraits, particularly of actresses. When Baron Adolph De Meyer created a rage for luxurious country house interior settings in his photographs for Vanity Fair, Hill, who was published in the same magazine, borrowed the concept and made a series of brightly lit portraits of sinuously posed actresses lounging on the window seats of country estates. These became defining images of celebrity allure during the First World War, imitated by George Moffett and Campbell Studios. Hill was the most important theatrical portraitist from 1913 to 1917, and a significant portraitist from 1917 to 1924, yet his aesthetic interests increasingly fixed on fashion. In full-figure images–which supplanted the Gibson Head in his posing in 1912–dress mattered as much as personality. While the attitudes of dancers–particularly Vernon and Irene Castle, and Anna Pavlova–might cause him to consider the expressive potentials of pose, with other performers the arrangement of the sitter often maximized the beauty of a gown or ensemble. A friend of designer Lady Duff Gordon, he shot many of the dresses she produced as Lucille. In the early 1920s, the spheres of fashion, theater, and Society coincided to a degree and he defined much of the look of their conjuncture. Divorce from his second wife, actress Katheryn Carver, in 1928 soured Hill on the world of entertainment generally and made him turn away from Broadway portraiture. Working out of a new studio at 677 5th St. Hill became a mobile chronicler of winter balls and summer fetes, June weddings and autumn cruises. In the 1930s, he ceased doing the shutter work at his studio, leaving it to hired talent. Hill’s character was paradoxical. With his clientele he manifested a refined patrician charm, with his family, an irritable temper that grew stranger as his wealth increased. His third wife, Doris Godwin Hill (great grandniece of President Zachary Taylor), tolerated him until June 1938. Doris matched the photographer in guile and malice, obtaining through a legal finesse his estate in Connecticut. Arrested in 1939 for a fight with Doris’s retainers, Hill’s personality became volatile. He married again, renounced his only son in a fit of temper, and at the time of the October 1946 car accident that would lead eventually to his death, had separated from his fourth wife. Hill studio remained a viable brand after its founders death in January 1947, under the direction of Raymond K. It maintaining its grip on the Blue Book wedding market until 1968. NOTES: Lady Duff Gordon, “Stage Dresses, ” Washington Post (Aug 13, 1916), MT6. “Hill Will Take New Bride Soon, ” Los Angeles Times (May 7, 1928), 1. “Ira Hill Held in Fight at Home of Ex-Wife, ” NYT (Nov 21, 1939), 12. Hill, 70, Noted as Photographer, NYT (Jan 21, 1947), 24. Granddaughters get Estate of Ira L. Hill, NYT (Jul 29, 1947), 23. “Boasted of His Love Affairs, ” The New Advocate (Jun 24, 1911), 8. Shields/ALS Specialty: Hill’s early success had to do with the rustic painted backdrops employed in his studio shots. Using soft focus, he made a sitter appear as though lounging in a Gainsborough glade. Theater producers were attracted to the aesthetic aura of his portraits and in 1913 began sending actresses for publicity shots to his studio, then located at 463 6th Avenue. After 1915 the influence of Baron De Meyer caused Hill to design the ensemble of his shots with more exquisite taste and with fashionable dress and furnishings. He rarely shot performers in character, and devoted himself increasingly to fashion work and society portraiture in the 1920s. Biography By: David S. Shields c/o Broadway (dot) CAS (dot) SC (dot) edu. The item “Very Early Showgirl Era Marion Davies Vintage 1910s Ira L. Hill Photograph Rare” is in sale since Thursday, March 31, 2016. This item is in the category “Entertainment Memorabilia\Movie Memorabilia\Photographs\Pre-1940\Black & White”. The seller is “grapefruitmoongallery” and is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Size: 7 3/4″ x 9 3/4″
  • Country/Region of Manufacture: United States

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