Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Seeking Ina - Sepia Saturday

"History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes
 with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness." 
James Fenimore Cooper

My post touches the days when
families gathered around radios and televisions for entertainment.


"Glorious is the Voice of Man, and sweet is the music of the heart."
Rich Llewellyn

BUT, sometimes-

If they weren't gathered around their television sets they were off to the theater, or as theatre-goers and those fond of music they often searched for opera houses or perhaps-

the less dramatic, more humorous "Traveling Theatres" in various places around the community.

Most musicians had quite a fan list following them like the lovely Ina, pictured below at her harp, wearing flowers in her hair.  She was obviously known for her beauty as well as a most defining and gifted harpist, drawing great crowds.
Or was this photo a ploy by the photographer? Could she really play the harp?

 Our theme photo for Sepia Saturday, entitled-
"Ina playing harp."

Like many of our theme photos they often possess little information.  Clicking here you'll enjoy a bit of information regarding, James Samuel Windeatt, the photographer once located in the Eureka Building.  My search within Windeatt's photography leads me to believe her real name may be
 Ina (Fagan) Claire, (from Billy Rose Theater division photo by Windeatt) actress and harpist see here, and here.

Interesting fact about Windeatt is the British legacy visible in his portraiture was the avoidance of deep shadows.

Enough facts let's have some fun.
So here's my story about Ina, 
and we'll begin in a theater where she quite possibly may have played as a harpist.  Maybe.

This photo taken with detail showing sculpture relief of winged-lion orchestra area of auditorium near stage at the Missouri Theatre Building in Saint Joseph, MO. 

Music lovers of all ages (and yes even youngsters) flocked to the city for a performance by Ina playing her harp.

I'd easily believe this young lad appearing as though he'd just flown in by means of his own aircraft and ready to catch her next concert.  I imagine he could very likely be seeking more than just harp music.

Everybody loves Ina! 

 They were all dressed for chilly temperatures! 

The photo reads, "Children outside the Minnesota Theatre, Minneapolis" and The Minnesota was a lavish "picture Palace" photo taken sometime in 1931.

Most of the theatre-goers were seeking more than a picture show or a concert.  It goes without saying, after any performance the local soda fountains were all the rage for all ages of theatre-goers.  Excepting of course, those of drinking age desiring to frequent one of the local bars or tap rooms.

Usually every soda shop, as well as other local eating establishments readily supplied telephone service, but there were limits and rules to follow.

Remember these? Get your coins out.

So just in case you have any doubts about harps being sought after- enjoy this photo image from the Library of Congress-
Gifted Harp performers traveled to Minnesota as well and were far more common than you might think.

Harp-Flute-Cello Trio performance (harpist Jeanne Chalifaux) by see here

The duet

Young and old performers.

The young pupil


kaykuala said...

when families gathered around radios
and televisions for entertainment

Those were the days, Karen! Not too long ago but given modern tech seems really ancient. Fascinating use of b/w pics. One yearns for them now.


Mike Brubaker said...

Thanks for the research on Ina Claire. There are thousands of similar photos of forgotten celebrities of Broadway stage and silent films that were produced as souvenirs for the public. I imagine many people collected them like baseball cards, as before the age of radio and television, these images were all people had to remember a live performance.

Elephant's Child said...

It is a long time since I have seen a harpist - and I don't think I have ever seen a male harp player. I suppose there must be some, but I have never seen one.

Loved this series. Informative, clever, beautiful and fun. Thank you.

La Nightingail said...

You took us along an interesting and clever route. A fun post. And now I'm going to have to learn more about Ina Claire!


Love the nostalgia of this post. Brings back my youthful days. I remember when we had our first TV....the box/cabinet was HUGE with a little 6 inch screen.

Wonderful memories. The two photos of the harp players are my favorites today.

Barbara Fisher said...

The photos of the harpists are just wonderful, and I very much enjoyed the tale of Ina.

Leovi - La Fotografía Efectista Abstracta said...

Interesting model tv! exquisite photos!

Gail said...

I do love history and these photos are fantastic!

Filip and Kristel said...

Nice television and super harp pictures.


ScotSue said...

You took us on a fascinating journey, reflecting this week's theme. I enjoyed your research into Ina, and into the photographer (where would we be without Google!). My favourite the lovely one of the two children,with the harpist. I wondered what the little boy felt, dressed in a shirt with such voluminous frills?

sage said...

I love the sound of the harp. They'll be in heaven, accordions in hell and, if there is such a thing as purgatory, they'll get the bagpipes.

Jo Featherston said...

Excellent research about Ina, and a great post altogether!

Cloudia said...

*Clap Clap Clap!*

Anonymous said...

Children and harps together make for a beautiful picture. But I also enjoyed sage's amusing comment !! - boundforoz

Dara said...

I do love the picture of the old man playing the harp - makes me smile.

Wendy said...

I wonder who monitored that 3-minute limit on the telephone.
Creative post as always!

Rob From Amersfoort said...

I happen to be listening to Joanna Newsom while reading this so harps are still being used in popular music today!