Mystery Lady

lzDancer059
(Click image to enlarge.)

This photograph enchants me, and I know practically nothing about it. To begin with, who is the young lady? Back in the mid-1970’s, a friend gave me the picture because her mother was about to throw it out. At first it was the Art Deco frame that drew me. My friend told me that her mother “hated” the frame, and that the woman in the picture was her (the mother’s) great-aunt, and that she was a professional “acrobatic dancer.” That was it, that’s all my friend got from her mother. Now I was really hooked. The fact that there was a mystery attached to such a beautiful frame and such an interesting-looking—lovely-in-her-own-way—costumed woman, only made the package that much more intriguing.

 So I did a bit of research. I checked out Google Images under “acrobatic dancer” for the 1920’s and 30’s, and came up with some notes that I may develop later for an essay. For instance, the images I found ranged from vaudeville and circus acts to strippers to deformed people who toured theatrically at the time and were exploited as “freaks.”  Show biz people of every stripe, in other words, many of whom were social outcasts then. Which of course could also explain my friend’s mothers’ dismissive attitude.

 But I don’t care. I think this athletic-appearing young lady’s story deserves more development. If you have clues to her identity, her career, or just helpful research ideas, please get in touch . . .

Copyright © 2014, Jim Sizemore.

					
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2 Responses to Mystery Lady

  1. Florence Newman says:

    What a fascinating portrait and story! Did you check the back of the photo for a name of the photography studio where it was taken? If there’s a name, that might help you “place” the lady.

  2. Jim says:

    No studio name on the photo or frame, but there is a scrawled person’s name. I’m not sure if it’s Ida “Remciki,” or “Revciki,” or something else; hard to make out. I tried Googling both the above versions, but with no results. Glad you enjoyed the picture and the frame. Thanks for your comment. If you have more ideas, please let me know.

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