Friday, January 28, 2011

Florence Vandamm, Broadway Photographer

One of my prize flea market finds was a box of photographs featuring theatre of the '20s and '30s in New York. This would include not only Broadway, but photographs from other theatrical productions in other cities that were part of the 'Little Theatre' movement in the early 1900s. I will feature a number of these in the near future. The one posted here, may be the prize of the bunch, however. First of all, it was taken by Florence Vandamm, a photographer who was considered, the photographer of record for the Broadway of the '20s and '30s. In the lower right, you can see her name stamped in raised letters.

Secondly, this is an amazing, and perhaps rare photograph considering the subjects. Florence Vandamm preferred shooting subjects sitting in formal poses, and often in rich, shadowy settings. This photograph was likely shot in the mid to late '20s, I haven't been able to pin the date down yet. And who are these people? I'll list them beneath the photo.

From left to right: Lee Simonson, a noted set designer of the era, and as shown here, a member of the New York Theatre Guild's Board of Directors. Then we have Theresa Helburn, Philip Moeller, Helen Westley, Maurice Wertheim, and Lawrence Langner. These people were not only members of the Board of Directors, they were the people who actually FOUNDED The Theatre Guild! So, in short, quite an impressive grouping of early Broadway notables, shot by the era's foremost Broadway photograher!


  1. I look forward to seeing more images from the box.

  2. Hey, Dee. Well tomorrow I will post an exciting story found in the box, so stay tuned. I am researching it today.