Central Library

Portrait of Unknown Subject

This unknown figure stands confidently with hands on her hips and directing her gaze to the right with a slightly bemused smile. The model is dressed in a dark jacket embellished with light colored scroll work on the long cuffs, pockets, and fur lined collar. Her simple "V" necked dark dress, is accentuated with a double looped string of pearls. The model has the iconic 1920’s bobbed haircut that is partially covered by a wide brimmed dark hat. The light background ensures the figure has complete prominence.

Portrait of Unknown Vaudevillian Actor with Bolero and Cigarette

A number of Orval Hixon's photographs include figure studies and portraits of unknown vaudevillian performers. This portrait of a young unknown vaudevillian actor is a great example of Hixon's playfulness. The young man stares directly at the viewer. While his facial features and the decoration of the hat are well lit and in detail, his shirt and the strap of the bolero are blurred. The focus appears to be on the eyes, nose, and lips of the young man. Dangling from his well defined lips is a cigarette.

Portrait of Unknown Vaudevillian Actress in Black

This portrait of an unknown vaudevillian actress offers plenty for the eye to explore. A layer of black tulle is draped over her head, creating a loose hood that encloses the rest of her torso. The folds and shadows of the material distort her percieved nude figure beneath while also inciting intrigue. The material does not obscure her face, however, which looks up and away while offering the viewer a profile of her contemplative expression.

Portrait of Unknown Woman

This portrait features an unknown woman looking away from the camera. She has a bob-haircut, wears a string of pearls and an embellished dress. Beading along the swooped neckline mirrors the pearls above, while rows of the same beading radiate out from beneath. The photographer signed "Hixon Studio K.C.M.O." at the bottom center of the photograph.

Portrait of Valeska Suratt Holding Necklace

Valeska Suratt was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. She became known as “The Vampire Woman” on the silent screen and appeared in vaudeville with Billy Gould. She began acting in film after being noticed by producer Edward Edelston. The “flapper age” put an end to her obsolete vampy style resulting in her early retirement from the stage. In this photograph, she wears a black coat over a white satin blouse that billows out from under her coat sleeves. Her headwear rests directly above her eyes, taking the place of her eyebrows and enhancing her direct expression.

Portrait of Valeska Suratt with Chains and Skull

Valeska Suratt was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. She became known as “The Vampire Woman” on the silent screen and appeared in vaudeville with Billy Gould. She began acting on film after being noticed by producer Edward Edelston. The “flapper age” put an end to her obsolete vampy style resulting in her early retirement from the stage. In this full-length portrait, Suratt turns her back to the camera with arms constrained to her side by linked chains. She looks over her shoulder with a slight distressed expression.

Portrait of Valeska Suratt with Lace Head Covering

Valeska was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. She became known as “The Vampire Woman” on the silent screen and appeared in vaudeville with Billy Gould. She began acting on film after being noticed by producer Edward Edelston. The “flapper age” put an end to her obsolete vampy style resulting in her early retirement from the stage. In this portrait, her face is wrapped in a band of black lace that singles out her facial features from the rest of her body, emphasized by the contrasting texture of her smooth skin beneath the lace.

Portrait of Vera Beresford

Vera Beresford was born to two successful performers, Kitty Gordon and Harry Beresford. She appeared in three films including, "Paid In Full" (1919), "A Daughter Of The Old South" (1918) and "The Devine Sacrifice" (1918). She assumes a confident pose in this photograph with gaze turned directly to the camera while she holds a painter's palette to her side. The palette and her voluminous hair mirror each other in form and together frame her face thus emphasizing her striking features.

Portrait of Vivian and Rosetta Duncan

The Duncan Sisters were American actresses and motion picture figures of the 1920s. They were 12 and 14 when they entered vaudeville in 1914. They performed, as the Duncan Sisters, and were noted for their radio personas, “Topsy and Eva”. Later Rosetta and Vivian would find greater success, as a stage duo, with the act “Topsy and Eva”. Rosetta played the part of Topsy. In a contemporary context, this character is viewed as an insensitive role, as the persona was portrayed in blackface. Her older sister Vivian played the more subdued and innocent Eva.

Portrait of Vivian Duncan

Vivian Duncan was an American actress and motion picture figure of the 1920s. She performed with her sisters Rosetta and Evelyn as the Duncan Sisters. Later Rosetta and Vivian would find greater success as a vaudevillian duo with the stage act Topsy and Eva. Rosetta played the role of Topsy. In a contemporary context, this character is viewed as an insensitive role as the persona was portrayed in blackface. Her older sister Vivian played the more subdued and innocent Eva.

Portrait of Wallace Reid

American silent film actor Wallace Reid was referred to as “the screen’s most perfect lover.” Reid born in St. Louis, Missouri, had theatrical roots stemming from both sides of his parentage. Reid’s mother, Bertha Westbrook, was a stage actress, and his father, James Halleck Reid, was a playwright and actor. Reid’s noted good looks and physique allowed his career in front of the cameras to flourish. Though happy to be an on-screen presence, Reid was just as comfortable behind the scenes as writer, cameraman and director.

Portrait of Warner Gault

Warner Gault was a theater and film actor during the vaudevillian era. Gault is best known for his roles in the 1912 operatic comedy including: “The Merry Countess”, the 1915 musical comedy “Stop! Look! Listen!”, the 1919 musical revue “The Greenwich Village Follies”, 1920 musical revue “The Broadway Whirl”, and the 1929 film “My Wife”. In this portrait Gault is fully costumed, wearing a dark Spanish cloak, head scarf and dark cordovan hat. Gault faces the camera with a challenging stare, cigarette dangling from his lips and slight perspiration on his skin.

Portrait of Zaina Curzon

This portrait depicts Zaina Curzon a performance artist from the 1912 "Ziegfeld Follies". Curzon is captured in an intimate pose with her figure filling the entirety of the space. She is dressed with a lace adorned white dressing gown and matching shawl looped in the crook of her left arm. Curzon clasps a small bedside clock to her chest. The expression on her face reflects that of momentary contemplation. Her thick dark hair spills down her back and shoulders. The dark backdrop provides significant contrast to the model as she become more pronounced and almost luminescent.

Portrait of Zoe Barnett

Zoe Barnett was an actress in musical comedies with roles in feature Broadway performances such as "The Debutante" (1914) and "Rose Girl" (1921) among others. She is perhaps most remembered for her leading role in the play "Nobody's Home" (1915) as Miss "Tony" Miller, for which she was commended for her gracefulness, good humor, and clever recitation acts. In this photograph, she holds a bust of a nondescript female figure before her, embodying its expression as her own. Barnett wears a satin head wrap with an ornament centered just above her eyes.

Potrait of Taylor S. Abernathy

Taylor S. Abernathy was born in Missouri to Harry Thomas Abernathy. The Abernathy family owned Abernathy Furniture Company in Kansas City. Taylor graduated from Hamilton College in 1914 and returned to Missouri to work for the First National Bank of Kansas City. He was eventually named President of the bank. In this portrait by Adrain Lamb, Abernathy is dressed in a dark navy or black suit with a white shirt and matching pocket square. His tie bespeckled with red dots is the same color as his suit. The background of this portrait is rich in russet tones of red and yellow.

Potrait of Trixie Friganza

Trixie Friganza was born with the name Delia O'Callahan in Grenola, Kansas. She was a comedian with a unique and gentle sense of humor. Trixie was a large woman and often used her weight as a subject of her comedy. In this 1919 photograph, Hixon has manifested the stoic beauty of Trixie as a vaudeville performer. She is dressed in a sateen gown trimmed with fur at the shoulders, wrists, and bottom. Her hat is fur, feather, and trimmed with sateen. Trixie gazes boldly, yet kindly, at the viewer.

President Truman Walking the Independence Square

The photograph depicts the side silhouette of former President Harry S. Truman walking across the street of the Independence Square. The original photograph was taken in 1960. An accompanying plaque dedicates this work as being "presented to R. Crosby Kemper III, in recognition of outstanding leadership and commitment to the Harry S. Truman Library Institute for National and International Affairs." The dedication is dated September 14th, 2006.

Ralph Lauren Mini Writer's Club Chair

This brown leather toddler sized writer's chair is complete with a button-tucked back and brass stud adornments around the base and backside of the chair. It sits atop four low-profile wooden feet.

Raven Maps and Images Map of North America

This map depicts the North American continent in minute detail, complete with a legend located in the lower lefthand corner which highlights urban areas, national and state capitals, glaciers, ice fields, most important and important highways, as well as most important and important railroads. Elevation and terrain are depicted through color gradation and change of hues, giving the 2-D print a 3-D appearance.

Reconquest of Ibiza

Enrique Sanchez, born 1938, is a well known Latin American artist. Sanchez who is noted for his Postwar and Contemporary paintings is additionally recognized for his illustrations in childrens' books. This work depicts the artist's version of a historical narrative, possibly of James I conquering Ibiza in 1238. The most predominant figure is that of an apparent royal person, bearing a sword and holding a staff. The figure appears to be wearing a crown as he stands astride a dragon shaped boat. The scene also contains a roughly detailed castle.

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