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Benjamin J. Falk

Fortescue as "Well fed Dora"

(New York City, 1853 - 1925)

c. 1884

Gelatin silver print

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of Barbara Tannenbaum

1995.40 a-d

More Information

George Fortescue, a popular nineteenth-century comedian and vaudeville actor, was known for his appearance in caricature theater roles. A large man—six feet tall and weighing 300 pounds—Fortescue’s portrayals of women were seen as particularly absurd. The title character of Well Fed Dora, which he performs in these publicity portraits by Benjamin Falk, is one example. Photographic cabinet cards such as these were an important promotional tool for actors and other celebrities—Falk was considered a master of the medium. Unfortunately for Fortescue, the 1884 burlesque production of 'Well Fed Dora' at New York’s Fifth Avenue theatre seems to have been a flop, receiving pan reviews.

Keywords
Gelatin Silver
Dress
Actors
Transgender
Female