Zita Johann (1904–1993), best known for her role in The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff, lived for many years in Rockland County. The latest episode of Crossroads of Rockland History explores a new book on the actor by local author Tom Stratford, Along Came Zita (BookBaby, 2023). [Read more…] about Zita Johann: Rockland County’s Classic Movie Star
Fulton County Theater Getting Historic Marker
The Glove Theatre, built-in 1914, is a hidden treasure in downtown Gloversville, in Fulton County, NY. Originally designed as an 800-seat theater that could show an array of performances, from vaudeville, concerts, and ultimately movies. In 1920 it became the flagship theater and home office of Schine Enterprises until 1965. It did not originally have a marque, but in 1939 the current marque was installed to resemble other local theaters. [Read more…] about Fulton County Theater Getting Historic Marker
What Do We Tell Our Children about the Holocaust?
This week on The Historians Podcast, Meryl Frank in her book Unearthed: A Lost Actress, a Forbidden Book, and a Search for Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Hachette Books, 2023) tells the story of her cousin Franya Winter, a celebrated Yiddish stage actress in Vilna in Eastern Europe who died in the Holocaust. [Read more…] about What Do We Tell Our Children about the Holocaust?
Vulgarity & Vice: Times Square in the 1920s
The 1920s was a decade of change and upheaval. While Europe was recovering from the First World War, the United States saw a period of economic growth and prosperity in which the country’s focus shifted from rural areas to the cities. It was also a time of great creativity in art and entertainment. New York City set the pace. [Read more…] about Vulgarity & Vice: Times Square in the 1920s
Amsterdam Composer Unveils ‘Requiem,’ Her Latest Work
This week on The Historians Podcast, composer Maria Riccio Bryce, an Amsterdam, NY, native, discusses her new choral work Requiem: What Remains Is Love. [Read more…] about Amsterdam Composer Unveils ‘Requiem,’ Her Latest Work
Cremona to Central Park: Stradivari & Nahan Franko’s Legacy
Musician Nicola Matteis arrived in London in the early 1670s. Describing himself as “Napolitano,” he was the first Baroque violinist of note active in the capital. Very much his own promoter, he published his Arie diverse per il violin in 1676, a collection of 120 pieces for solo violin. A second extended edition with an English title-page appeared two years later. In 1685, he published the third and fourth parts of the famous Ayres for the Violin.
Matteis is credited with changing English taste for violin from the French to the Italian style of playing. Soon after, attention shifted from performer to instrument which sparked a veritable cult of Cremonese violins. The name Stradivari became a metaphor for perfection attained by a combination of individual genius, skill and attention to detail. [Read more…] about Cremona to Central Park: Stradivari & Nahan Franko’s Legacy
Burlington’s Higher Ground: 25 Years of Sound, Art and Ink on Paper
For the past 25 years, beloved Burlington, Vermont music venue, Higher Ground, the acclaimed design firm Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly JDK Design), and Iskra Print Collective have had a unique partnership. The design firm has created hundreds of silkscreen posters for shows at the venue, posters that aren’t available for purchase and evoke the spirit of each band. [Read more…] about Burlington’s Higher Ground: 25 Years of Sound, Art and Ink on Paper
Exotic Animals, The Van Amburgh Circus & The Lion King of Fishkill
The term “exotic pet” refers to wild animals kept in captivity in a domestic setting for the purpose of personal interest or entertainment. With globalization the trade has increased dramatically, although its real scope is difficult to ascertain because for most species there is no registration requirement. Its scale may be a contemporary concern, but the practice itself has a long history. The public has always been obsessed with non-native animals. [Read more…] about Exotic Animals, The Van Amburgh Circus & The Lion King of Fishkill
Battlefield to Stage: The Lives of John Burgoyne
The new book From the Battlefield to the Stage: The Many Lives of General John Burgoyne (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023) by Norman S. Poser provides a rounded biography, covering not only the Saratoga campaign but also elements of General John Burgoyne’s eventful life that have never been adequately explored. [Read more…] about Battlefield to Stage: The Lives of John Burgoyne
Becoming Barnum: The Anatomical Venus & Tom Thumb in Scotland
In this episode of the Becoming Barnum podcast, newly discovered letters from P.T. Barnum reveal details about his activities during the Gen. Tom Thumb tour in Scotland offering insight into Barnum’s anxieties, including his quest for a new play for Gen. Tom Thumb. They also shed light on Barnum’s commissioning of the “Anatomical Venus,” A life-sized, dissectible wax woman, for his American Museum in New York. [Read more…] about Becoming Barnum: The Anatomical Venus & Tom Thumb in Scotland