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As detailed in my e-book, The Secret Source, Beatrice Tonnesen appears to have produced little, if any, new calendar art between around 1904, when she abruptly closed the Tonnesen Sisters Studio on Michigan Avenue, and around 1913, when she opened the new Tonnesen Studio on West Chicago Avenue. So imagine my surprise when I found the provocative “Olive” (included), complete with a glowing writeup, inside the Thomas D. Murphy Company’s book of calendar art samples for 1910. Copyrighted by TDM in 1908, the photo print, which occupies an entire double-page spread in the book, was offered only as a black and white, 8 X 10.5 inch image on a super-sized (14 X 22 inch) roll-up calendar.
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In the early part of the 20th century, Chicago was a hub of advertising art production and home to many of the country’s most talented artists and models. And so it was, that some of the best known models of the day turned up in the works of Chicago-based artist-photographer Beatrice Tonnesen. Among them, I believe was Adelyne Slavik (1892? – 1984).
Also, shown in that same series of photos was May LaNell (1899-1975) a well-known photographic and fashion model who also may have modeled for Tonnesen. This amazing assemblage of models caused me to wonder what had called them together for the cameras of the Chicago Daily News. Searching for news accounts that might explain their collective presence, I found two articles in the Chicago Daily Tribune about an event called the Style Revue at the Strand Theater, February 4 – 10, 1917, presented by the Garment Manufacturers Association. Of the forty models participating in the Style Revue, only four were named in the Tribune, but among them were Adelyne Slavik, Helen Dale and Mae LaNell. In a promotional article appearing February 3, 1917 and titled “Pink,” Helen Dale was said to have been…”dubbed ‘the pink lady’ because her brunette beauty lends itself so well to a pink sports suit, a rose colored evening dress, and an orchid afternoon silk dress, all of which she will wear at the Style Revue.”
Three of the photos from the Chicago Daily News are presented at left. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.) Below them, in a slide show, are Coca-Cola ads featuring the women I believe to be Helen Dale and Marie MacDonald, along with other advertising images I believe also to be of Helen Dale. I’ve also included an image I believe to show May LaNell, which appeared on page 49 of “Home Craft: The American Woman’s Handibook,” Copyright 1920 The Magazine Circulation Co., Inc., publishers of Woman’s Weekly, Chicago.
I hope you, our site visitors, will compare them with the Chicago Daily News photos and submit your comments. Do you agree with my identifications? Does anyone have further information or photos of Helen Dale, Marie MacDonald, May LaNell or Adelyne Slavik?
Copyright 2013 Lois Emerson
It has been time for a new look at beatricetonnesenart.com for quite some time. WordPress has gone through some half dozen revisions since we started this project, and the theme we were using was outdated for the latest WordPress capabilities. This theme, FinePro by CyberChimps, provides most of everything that can currently be imagined, so we’ll try it out. It also allowed us to implement some additional security that wasn’t available with the previous theme.
A Subscription button has been included to provide for notification whenever a new post has been made. A contact page was added for contacting either Lois or me. Comments have been made available inline with the posts. All the comments filter through a spam checker and then will be held for moderation prior to publishing. So be patient. A link for registration is located at the bottom of the page to qualify for the ability to regularly comment.
Lowell Limited, publisher of The Secret Source – Beatrice Tonnesen and the Calendar Art of The Golden Age of Illustration, and this site, is preparing a series of numbered Giclée reproductions of selected rare works attributable to Beatrice Tonnesen. Paper will be Epson UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper with Epson UltraChrome K3 inks. Sizing will generally be 19 inches by 13 inches. Pricing will start at $150 plus shipping. The first image in preparation is the accompanying “Beauty's Charms”.
From the caption below the image:
“Beauty's Charms” was found on an advertising calendar dated 1919 for The Best Mfg. Co., New Haven, Conn. It can be identified as the work of famed artist/photographer Beatrice Tonnesen (1871 – 1958), a major contributor of calendar art from about 1900 – 1930, during the Golden Age of Illustration. The dress and the model are seen in other works contained in archives of Tonnesen's work, and this image is shown hanging in Tonnesen's Chicago studio in a photo dated 1920. – Lois Emerson
Additional Beatrice Tonnesen images and information are available at https://www.beatricetonnesenart.com. Lois Emerson is author and Sumner Nelson illustrator of The Secret Source: The Calendar Art of Beatrice Tonnesen in the Golden Age of Illustration.
Printed to archival standards on Epson UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper with Epson UltraChrome K3 inks.
This print is numbered __(Sequential)__, and was printed on: ___(Current Date)___, by ____(Sumner L. Nelson signature) ______.