Portrait of Dainty Marie Meeker

Portrait of Dainty Marie Meeker
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Current Location: 
Storage Room 303
Lower Level/Vault
Object Description
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Artist Nationality: 
Object Type: 
This is a sepia-toned photograph of Dainty Marie Meeker.
13 inches
0 inches
19 inches

Dainty Marie Meeker was a vaudeville star and physical fitness icon in the early 1900s. She was originally from Leavenworth, Kansas, where her father was a guard at the prison. She rose to fame quickly for her multi-talented performances on the Broadway stage. She was cited in a 1913 issue of The Leavenworth Times for an act where she opens singing in a beautiful evening gown then disrobes into a body suit. She then climbs a trapeze on stage, and performs a number of acrobatic stunts. She became known for her strength after an altercation with 'mashers' while walking down Broadway in New York City who tried to stop her. She responded with a few swift self-defense moves that threw the masher off his feet and out of Meeker's way. She kept walking and bystanders took the story to the news. In this photograph, she is seated with legs stretched out before her on what appears to be a stage set up with a landscape prop in the background. She wears a black ensemble with a pleated skirt, patent leather heels and a short, wavy haircut popular of the era. She smiles at the camera, her figure framing the message written over the photograph that reads "To Ray- Play Them Close. Sincerely, Dainty Marie Meeker". The message is dated January 25th, 1928, but it is unclear if the message was written at the same time the photograph was taken.

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