Etting family scrapbook and Stage Door Canteen photographs
The one volume in the Etting family papers is a family scrapbook which contains one item from 1780, the rest of the content spans from 1856 to 1973. The item from 1780 is an original handwritten poem for Miss Gratz by John Ewing. John Ewing worked at the University of Pennsylvania for 44 years servi...
|Collection:||Etting Family Scrapbook and Stage Door Canteen Photographs|
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|Online Access:||Link to finding aid|
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Processing Information: Also part of this collection, but not listed in the inventory, is a box of negatives depicting the Stage Door Canteen in Philadelphia and related activities. To access the negatives please contact the library staff.
During processing, an Etting family tree was created by a staff member. The family tree is now part of the collection and available to researchers as an attachment to the paper version of this finding aid, which is available at the Reference Desk.
Materials Separated from the Resource: Recollections of my aunt, Rebecca Gratz, 1893, (call number UPA/Ph F 158.9.J5 M67 1893) Report of the Committee on Restoration of Independence Hall, 1873, (call number UPA/Pam F 158.8.I3 P4 1873) An historical account of the old State house of Pennsylvania now known as the Hall of Independence, 1876, (call number UPA/Ph F 158.8.I3 E8 1876)
0.5 Linear feet ; 1 box, 1 volume
This collection is open for research.
The one volume in the Etting family papers is a family scrapbook which contains one item from 1780, the rest of the content spans from 1856 to 1973. The item from 1780 is an original handwritten poem for Miss Gratz by John Ewing. John Ewing worked at the University of Pennsylvania for 44 years serving as professor, trustee, and provost. The rest of the volume consists primarily of photograph portraits of friends and family of the Etting’s. Portraits of friends include Horace Howard Furness, Lloyd P. Smith, Howard Richards, and Colonel Peter Augustus Porter. Horace Howard Furness (1833–1912) was brother of architect Frank Furness, a Shakespearean scholar, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, and chairman of the building committee for its library which was designed by his brother Frank. Lloyd P. Smith was a librarian at the Library Company of Philadelphia from 1851 to 1886. He also attended the first national library meeting in 1853 and was on the planning committee for the conference of librarians that met Philadelphia in 1876, which resulted in the American Library Association. Howard Richards (1837-1921) was a Philadelphia and New Jersey lawyer and also served in the Civil War. Richards was married to Harriet Mayo, of the well-known Mayo family. Colonel Peter Augustus Porter (1827-1864) was a lawyer, politician, a member of the Breckinridge family and a Union Army colonel in the Civil War.
The scrapbook holds a few drawn portraits of family members including a miniature of Rachel Gratz Moses by Edward Malbone dated 1804, a miniature of Frances Gratz Etting by James Peale dated 1794 (the original is at Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts), and a portrait of Rebecca Gratz by Edward Malbone dated 1806. The few letters included mostly pertain to Major Frank Marx Etting’s paymaster business ranging 1850’s to 1870’s. There other letters including one from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania dated 1856, one from the Philadelphia Club dated 1892, one pertaining to the International Exhibition 1876, and one from the American Philosophical Society dated 1876. Also included in the Etting family scrapbook is a swatch of printed fabric designed Matisse that had been made into cravats for close personal friends of the artist. The fabric is partnered with a letter explaining the significance of the fabric.
The box contains photographs from the American Theatre Wing’s Philadelphia branch of the Stage Door Canteen. The premise of the stage door canteen was to have famous people and celebrities serve and perform for American servicemen. It was held in the cellar of the Academy of Music from 1940 to 1945. Emlen Etting was the production designer for the event and his wife Gloria Braggiotti was responsible for many of the photographs included in the collection. There are some photos of Emlen and other volunteers painting and setting up the space for performances. Some performers include Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Roosevelt, Irene Castle, Mario Braggiotti, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Cantor, and Antony Tudor. There are also photos of Antoinette Perry who created the American Theatre Wing and subsequently was the inspiration and namesake of the Tony awards. There are few photos that show wounded soldiers and performances at the Valley Forge hospital. Many photographs show waiters, hostesses, and other volunteers interacting with servicemen in the Canteen.
Emlen Etting Jr. (August 24, 1905- July 20, 1993) was part of the well-known Philadelphia family the Etting’s. He attended Harvard and studied art in Europe. Emlen served in the psychological warfare division of the Office of War Information. He married Gloria Braggiotti in 1938 and continued to pursue art including designing for the Stage Door Canteen that was hosted in the cellar of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, PA from 1940-1945. The Stage Door Canteen was free entertainment for American servicemen.