Evelyn Nesbit (born Florence Evelyn Nesbit, December 25, 1884 or 1885 – January 17, 1967) was an American artists' model, chorus girl, and actress.
In the early part of the 20th century, Nesbit's figure and face appeared frequently in mass circulation newspapers and magazine advertisements, on souvenir items, and in calendars, making her a celebrity. Her career began in her early teens in Philadelphia and continued in New York, where she posed for a cadre of respected artists of the era. She had the distinction of being an early fashion and artists' model in an era when both fashion photography and the pin-up were just beginning their ascendancy.
Nesbit received further worldwide attention when her husband, the mentally unstable multimillionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, shot and killed the prominent architect and New York socialite Stanford White in front of hundreds of witnesses, leading to what the press would call the "Trial of the Century".
Thaw was sentenced to life incarceration in a hospital for the criminally insane. As Uruburu says, “Tragically, almost as quickly as her star rose, America’s first supermodel, sex goddess and bona-fide celebrity fell victim to the very culture that created and consumed her.”
Gertrude Käsebier (May 18, 1852 – October 12, 1934) was an American photographer. She was known for her images of motherhood, her portraits of Native Americans, and her promotion of photography as a career for women.
After studying painting at Pratt Institute and opening a portrait studio in New York in 1897, she switched to photography, displaying the influence of her painting training in her Pictorialist style. Her family and friends posed for her most celebrated series of photographs on the subject of motherhood.
Käsebier was one of the first two women to be elected to the British Linked Ring; two years later she became a founding member of Stieglitz's Photo-Secession group. Stieglitz continued to champion her by devoting the first issue of his second journal, Camera Work, to her images. Käsebier broke with Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession in 1912 but continued to photograph until she closed her studio in 1929. More on Gertrude Käsebier
Nesbit showed resilience and made a life for herself after these traumatic events – as a mother, a silent-screen actress, a vaudeville performer and the writer of two memoirs. Along with the art works and photographs that survive of Nesbit, there have been poems and plays about her, the 1955 film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing and the novel Ragtime by EL Doctorow, which features a subplot about the murder, and was adapted to a film and a musical. More on Evelyn Nesbitt
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