Once Upon a Time…11.28.2014

Posted on July 21st, 2015 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church at 410.732.6400 x236 or email jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

1988169004Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  November 28, 2014

PastPerfect Accession #:  1988.169.004

Status: Partially Identified! Actors in an Alliance Players production, 1945: center (crouched over the baby carriage): Marcia Zuriff Rothstein

Special Thanks To: Ilene Zuriff Holtz

 

 

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Once Upon a Time…11.21.2014

Posted on July 14th, 2015 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church at 410.732.6400 x236 or email jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

1980029027bDate run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  November 21, 2014

PastPerfect Accession #:  1980.029.027b

EDIT Status: Identified! Goucher College girls basketball team, 1915. Forwards: Sylvania Nagle, Eline Von Borries; Centers: Lucille Liberles, Evelyn Martine (Captain); Guards: Ruth Hayden, Caroline Diggs; Manager: Virginia Merritt.

Special Thanks To: twitter user @impresservation and to Goucher Libraries for having a fully digitized copy of the 1915 Donnybrook Yearbook!

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Fragments of Movie Posters; Or, Why Collections Managers Like to Save Things

Posted on July 14th, 2015 by

One lovely thing about social media is that it gives me the opportunity to talk about artifacts that didn’t quite make the grade for an exhibit. Though we did not have any of our own movie posters to add to Cinema Judaica, researching the loaned posters reminded me of these two items in our collections: fragments of movie posters, put to a new use some 80 years ago.

Two movie poster fragments, printed on cardboard. Donated by Bernard Levin, 2014.44.2, 2014.44.4

Two movie poster fragments, printed on cardboard. Donated by Bernard Levin, 2014.44.2, 2014.44.4

First, a little background. Bernard “Bucky” Levin was born in 1911 to Max and Sarah Levin, Latvian immigrants who settled on E. Baltimore Street in Butcher Hill. Max went into the real estate business, and oldest son Bernard attended City College and the University of Maryland Pharmacy School, graduating with his pharmacist degree in 1933.

Like many of us do, Bernard Levin proudly framed his diplomas and certificates for display. As best I can tell, he framed most of them himself. By the time the items came to us at the JMM, they were in poor condition and we decided the papers could be best preserved if they were taken out of their frames. Sometimes this process reveals hidden bits of information, and in this case I discovered two entertaining, if not exactly earth-shattering, surprises.

Front and back of Bernard Levin’s 1933 First Aid certification, in original frame. Donated by Bernard Levin, 2014.44.2

Front and back of Bernard Levin’s 1933 First Aid certification, in original frame. Donated by Bernard Levin, 2014.44.2

The 1933 Red Cross First Aid Certificate (shown above) was supported in its frame by a corner of a cardboard window card for the 1930 Wheeler and Woolsey comedy “Hook, Line and Sinker,” while a 1933 Certificate of Honor from the University of Maryland Pharmacy School was backed with a piece of window card advertising the 1933 horror film “Murders in the Zoo.”  Both movies opened at Keith’s, a theater at Lexington and Park.

Researching a corner of a poster is a little trickier than when you have the whole thing, but thanks to the internet, and the many poster collectors who make use of it, I was able to identify the movies. (Well, “Murders in the Zoo” was pretty easy, since the title is right there; but Wheeler and Woolsey made a lot of pictures.) More useful internet searching, this time using the Baltimore Sun archives via the Baltimore County Public Library, told me where these films showed in the city. Ancestry.com gave me a few additional hints about the Levin family home and careers. But that’s where the magical internet stopped its assistance; I haven’t been able to prove my pet theory, which is that student Bernard had a part-time job at Keith’s, and he snagged some leftover publicity material for his framing project.  Or perhaps he, or another friend or family member, was an avid moviegoer and incipient collector.  If anyone remembers Mr. Levin – or worked at Keith’s – and can shed some light, please let me know!

Here’s what the full posters look like. Window cards were designed with blank space at the top, where theaters could post showtimes (as has been done for “Hook, Line and Sinker” here). What I took to be a villainous eyeball in the corner of the Wheeler and Woosley fragment proved to be simply a lecherous eyeball, aimed at Dorothy Lee; hmmm.  And I must point out that “Murders in the Zoo” actress Kathleen Burke was, for good or ill, billed as “The Panther Woman.” Images from emovieposter.com and moviepostershop.com.

Here’s what the full posters look like. Window cards were designed with blank space at the top, where theaters could post showtimes (as has been done for “Hook, Line and Sinker” here). What I took to be a villainous eyeball in the corner of the Wheeler and Woosley fragment proved to be simply a lecherous eyeball, aimed at Dorothy Lee; hmmm. And I must point out that “Murders in the Zoo” actress Kathleen Burke was, for good or ill, billed as “The Panther Woman.” Images from emovieposter.com and moviepostershop.com.

In most circumstances, these leftover, recycled posters would be little more than a sidenote in our collections catalog; after all, the reason we accepted the certificates was to help tell the story of Mr. Levin’s education and career, not his skill in amateur framing.  Thanks to the fragments’ condition (and the fact that the represented movies did not fit into the theme of our exhibit), they did not end up on display in “Cinema Judaica.” Nonetheless, they represent another way to show the connections between movies, theaters, and Maryland audiences, on an individual scale. Sometimes the historical sidenotes prove to be more interesting than you expect.

JoannaA blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

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