In 1906 The Journal of the English Folk Song Society published a piece on the old English ballad “Death and the Lady.” Some enterprising female entertainer encountered the article and realized the story might be used as a great vaudeville piece about the evils of card play and alcohol. Touring performers were always searching for material that would play well in the sticks. The city folks would enjoy the Grand Guignol staging, the traditional song, and the vocal technique. Here Joseph Hall, the Brooklyn born photographer who had made a career on baseball pictures and theatrical production stills, captured the sequence of the action, providing a peculiarly detailed & rare view of the progress of a single vaudeville performance.
Click on images to see larger, richer versions; you can see the complete series of photos on the Historical Ziegfeld website by clicking here.
I finished this piece up last week, which is names “Petite Mort”. I’ll have a framed fine art print of this available this weekend at the Steampunk World’s Fair.