He's behind you! Pantomimes and Pierrot

By other museum staff on 19 Dec 2012

With panto season firmly upon us, digital curator, Ellie Miles, goes back 200 years to meet some of pantomime’s earliest characters. Whilst working on the theatrical portraits for collections online, I kept finding the same characters appearing. In the left hand side of this print you can see Harlequin, wearing a mask. To Harlequin’s right, in blue, is the character ‘Pierrot’. Beatrice blogged about Pierrot costumes a couple of years ago. She wrote about Gertie Millar’s Pierrot costume, which Millar wore in 1909, but this print is from 1802, when Pierrot was just one the characters in the Harlequinade. I […]

Theatrical portraits – a 19th century celebrity

By other museum staff on 25 Jul 2012

Here is another installment from collections online Project Assistant Ellie Miles, following on from her post last week Theatrical Portraits: back in the limelight. Sorting through the boxes of prints in the store, it was not long before one of the actors began to catch my eye. T.P. Cooke appears in dozens of the museum’s prints and in several of those is shown wearing the distinctive flared trousers of a sailor character. It was the repetitive trousers that were so striking, although I confess what an 1820 theatre critic described as “his fine muscular figure and handsome expressive countenance” (The British Stage, […]

Theatrical Portraits: back in the limelight

By other museum staff on 18 Jul 2012

Following on from her post last year, Project Assistant, Ellie Miles, continues her work digitising the Museum of London’s theatrical portraits. “kaleidoscopes of changing pictures, echoes of the past” This is how Robert Louis Stevenson describes the theatrical portraits he collected as a child. I am working with the Museum’s collection of theatrical portraits, to publish them on Collections Online. Whilst researching the collection I read a very enthusiastic essay by Robert Louis Stevenson. The essay was first published in April 1884, in The Magazine of Art, and later that year appeared in Stevenson’s book Memories and Portraits. Stevenson’s essay […]