Browse Exhibits (7 total)
This exhibit revolves around accounts of the romantic and passionate relationship between Matilda Hays and Charlotte Cushman in the 1850s and their breakup in 1857. After Cushman's rise to success in the 1840s, she carefully watches her public image which involved keeping her same-sex relationships private. The exhibit devotes attention to the (lack of) archival material that provides insights into this period of Cushman's life.
For a blog post about this event which also inquires the intracacies of gossip as uncertain knowledge, please visit historyofknowledge.net.
This exhibit explores the social circles and networks that Charlotte Cushman built and/or actively shaped in order to manage her public image.
Choose a gallery page to learn more about
- the people among Cushman's circle of acquaintances and admireres, such
(force-directed graph, letter correspondence from the collection "Cushmania,"
code and simulation here)
Charlotte Cushman starts her final Farewell Tour in the US in 1874 after a series of dramatic readings between 1871-1874.
All items related to the presentation "’Interesting to the Ladies’: How Foreign Correspondents Made Gossip a Profession" for the Speculative Endeavors Conference (Oct 21-23, 2021) are gathered here. They serve as a basis to contextualize, analyse, visualize, and link documents and people relevant to the question of how gossip becomes a profession in the nineteenth century.
You can read our conference report here.
(Palladio visualization, location of items in "Gossip Columns and Columnists" collection, size nodes)
After Charlotte Cushman's death, newspaper articles and various memoirs change her public image by emphasizing certain aspects of her life (such as a narrative of Cushman as a heterosexual spinster) and leaving out others (such as personal motivation for taking on breeches roles). This exhibit collects the most influential of these posthumous accounts and thereby offers crucial insights into developing discourses of gender and sexuality.
The items aligned here in various subcategories range from negative to favorable accounts and display the results of and threats to Charlotte Cushman's reputation management. The exhibit also comprises retrospective accounts that were published after Cushman's death in 1876.
During the 1840s, Charlotte Cushman becomes a successful actress known across the Atlantic. After struggling financially, she establishes a reputation as the first gifted American actress who succeeds at performing different gender roles on stage. This exhibit provides an overview over press coverage as well as personal material concerning this crucial moment in Cushman's career.
There are numerous articles published both in the US and England for the years 1845-1852. Among these articles, various reports are reprints. The sections in which these articles can be found are called "private correspondence," "intelligence," "gossip," and theater-related columns.
All items related to the presentation "’Interesting to the Ladies’: How Foreign Correspondents Made Gossip a Profession" for the Speculative...