HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STARS
Signatures of 24 Hollywood film personalities from the 1920's to the present, boldly penned on an oblong folio sheet [10 7/8 inches wide by 14 inches high], from the Beverly Hills house guest book of the actor Clifton Webb, Dated and Headed, "Party for Neysa McMein - Feb 13th 1949 1005 N. Rexford-Beverly Hills," by Webb.
Those signing include: artist Neysa McMein Baragwanath, Ruth Gordon (stage actress, playwright and screenwriter), Garson Kanin (actor,/writer/director, married to Ruth Gordon), Joan Harris (dancer), Elise (de Wolfe) Mendl (stage actress turned interior decorator), Charles Mendl (press attaché at the British Embassy in Paris, married to Elise de Wolfe Mendl), William Goetz (studio executive/producer), Edith Goetz (daughter of MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, married to William Goetz), Sam Engel (20th Century Fox Studio executive/producer, past president of the Motion Picture Producers Association), Leonora Hornblow (wife of producer Arthur Hornblow Jr.), Michael Romanoff (the legendary 'Prince Michael', actor and owner of Romanoff's Restaurant, the famous Hollywood hotspot where the Hollywood elite would go to be seen), Bill Dozier (producer best known for the Batman television series), Jean Fontaine Dozier (actress and sister of actress Olivia De Havilland), Charles Brackett (writer/producer), actress Mary Pickford, C[harles] B[uddy] Rogers (actor/musician, married to Mary Pickford), David O. Selznick (famous producer of commercially successful films, most notably Gone With the Wind), Florence A. Selznick (David O. Selznick's mother), director Walter Lang, actress Joan Bennett Wanger, George Cukor (director of such films as Gone With the Wind, The Philadelphia Story, and My Fair Lady which won him this Oscar for Best Director in 1964), actress Gladys Cooper, actress Claudette Colbert, and J[ohn] C. Baragwanath (mining engineer and author, married to Neysa McMein).
Neysa McMein, the party's guest of honor, was a regular member of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal group of American literary men and women who met daily for lunch on weekdays at a large round table in the Algonquin Hotel in New York City during the 1920s and '30s. The Algonquin Round Table began meeting in 1919, and within a few years its participants included many of the best-known writers, journalists, and artists in New York City. Among them were Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, Robert Benchley, Robert Sherwood, Harold Ross, Harpo Marx, and Russell Crouse. At the time, McMein's own studio, located on West 57th Street, was also a meeting place for these same artisans. The Round Table became celebrated in the 1920s for its members' lively, witty conversation and urbane sophistication.
Neysa McMein was a highly successful illustrator and designer. Her commercial style was highly popular in magazines and advertising of the 1920s and '30s, and from 1923 through 1937 McMein provided all of McCall's covers. She also supplied work to McClure's, Liberty, Woman's Home Companion, Collier's, Photoplay, and other magazines, and she created advertising graphics for products such as Palmolive soap and Lucky Strike cigarettes. She was also commissioned by General Mills to create the image of Betty Crocker, a fictional housewife whose brand name was intended to be a seal of solid, middle-class domestic values.
Matted in light blue and red with a photograph of the landmark Hollywood sign in the hills above the city. Framed in antiqued gilt measuring 28 inches wide by 20 inches high.
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