Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Leading Men

Guy Bates Post, 1909

John Osborn, 1896

W.T. Carleton, 1882

Otis Skinner, 1899

Leon "The Wizard" Rehan, 1890

Edwin Rostell, 1894

Lewis Morrison, 1896

Robert B. Mantell, 1890

William Gillette, 1900

The Marvellous Bard, 1890

Ernst Roeber, 1898
Thousands of theatrical posters from the turn of the 20th century are preserved at the Library of Congress. Celebrity fixations drew crowds and sold tickets then as now. The most noticeable difference between then and now was how few of the vintage posters featured males. Blockbusters of today are almost always promoted most prominently by the male stars. In this earlier era, pictures of female performers outnumbered males ten to one.

A Dark Secret, 1900