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Friday, August 24, 2012

Harriet Hoctor ~ Ballet.

At the age of 15, Harriet Hoctor made her Broadway debut in 1920 as a chorus dancer in Jerome Kern's musical Sally, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld. In 1923 she starred in Vivian and Rosetta Duncan's Topsy and Eva and toured with the show until 1926. Subsequent Broadway productions included A La Carte (1927), Earl Carrol's Vanities (1932), Hold Your Horses (1933), as well as several Billy Rose musical revues. Having caught the eye of producer Ziegfeld in Sally, Hoctor was to star in four subsequent Ziegfeld-produced musicals: The Three Musketeers (1928), Show Girl (1929), Simple Simon (1930), and The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936. Films include The Great Ziegfeld (MGM, 1936) and Shall We Dance (RKO 1937). Hoctor was also a popular feature as a ballet dancer on the vaudeville Keith/Orpheum Circuit. In 1945 she retired from performing to open a ballet school in Boston. She died in 1977.

Marguerite Bellanger Bust, By ~ Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse ~ 1824 - 1887.

Carrier-Belleuse is the name used by this sculptor--born Carrier de Belleuse--on his mature pieces, after initially signing works "A. Carrier." His career began firmly in the applied arts, with his apprenticeship at thirteen to a Parisian ciseleur today known as Bauchery (or Beauchery), and he did subsequent work for Jacques-Henri Fauconnier and Fannière Frères. His formal education took place at the Petite Ecole--chosen after an unhappy stint at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1840 under the direction of David d'Angers, his official master. While at the Petite Ecole in the 1840s, Carrier-Belleuse began his lifelong practice of providing commercial houses with models for edition, as statuettes or as ornament for functional pieces. Around 1850, the sculptor moved to England as a designer for Minton China Works, at Stoke-upon-Trent, as well as for Wedgewood, Coalbrookdale Ironworks, and Graham & Jackson furniture makers. Even after returning to Paris in 1855, he continued to send models to British firms throughout his life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Interrupted Sleep, By ~ Francois Boucher ~ 1703 - 1770.

Boucher was an artist of incomparable virtuosity and industry with a preference for mythological and pastoral subjects. Here he shows a beautifully dressed shepherd and shepherdess. The latter sleeps, while the former tickles her pink lips with a bit of straw. The simplicity of the subject belies the complexity of the composition, which is organized around a series of intersecting diagonals. This canvas, much admired when it was exhibited at the Salon of 1753, was described as one of a pair of overdoors from Bellevue. The château belonged to Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV.