Walery photographs of Paris music hall productions

Walery photographs of Paris music hall productions

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Walery
Title: Walery photographs of Paris music hall productions
Dates: approximately 1900-1920
Quantity: 0.2 Linear feet (1 half box)
Coll. Number: ms3378

Biographical/Historical Note

Between 1888 and 1896 the firm of Walery issued a remarkable series of portraits entitled Our Celebrities which were published as a monthly part-work by the publisher Sampson, Low together with biographical text on the subjects explain why they should be considered to qualify as "celebrities". The part works subsequently became available as bound volumes.

Walery was the by-line adopted by two photographers, a father and son who both adopted the working name Walery. The elder, Count Stanislaw Julian Ostrorog (1830-1890) was born in Mohylewo, Lithuania but spent most of his youth in Paris where the family went in 1831 to take political asylum. He served as a Captain in the 5th Lancers, in the Staff Polish Division as aide-de -camp to General Count Zamoiski on the British Government's payroll under General Storks. Subsequently he was promoted to colonel in the Turkish army in 1854. Around three years later he moved to London. He became a British citizen in 1862. As a professional photographer he first set up a studio in Marseilles and then Paris, which he sold in 1878, before opening his first studio in London in May 1883 at 5 Conduit Street. Following on from his successful portrait sitting with Queen Victoria in 1886 he moved to 164 Regent Street.

On his death in June 1890, his son Stanislaw Julian Ignacy, Count Ostrorog (1863-1935) continued the business and later combined (between 1890-1900) with another photographer Alfred Ellis to become Ellis and Walery. According to records of copyright registration now held at The National Archives at Kew some the later portraits in the "Celebrities" series were taken for Walery by Achille Victor Bosco of Walery Villa in Muswell Hill. In 1894 Walery gave an interview to Woman at Home magazine, which illustrated the extreme splendour of the firm's lavish reception rooms in Regent Street. In 1900 Walery moved to Paris to open a studio on the Rue de Irondes and began to specialise in the showgirls of Folies Bergere and subjects such as Mata Hari.

His portraits of Josephine Baker are particularly celebrated and one from 1926 was recently included in the American National Portrait Gallery's book and exhibition Women of Our Time (2002). This first display of Walery's work focuses on the portraits of leading women of the era including performers Madame Albani, Ellen Terry, Lady Bancroft and Sarah Bernhardt, scientists Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Millicent Fawcett and members of royalty including Queen Alexandra and Queen Victoria. Nearly all the poses show the subjects posed as three quarter length, which Walery believed was the most insightful way of making a portrait study. National Portrait Gallery website. (http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/display/victorian-women-by-walery.php) Retrieved 1/21/2010.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 32 photographs, all supposedly by Walery. All but three of the photographs (numbers 21, 22, and 23) have either his stamp or his name on the back or front. Most of the images are of Paris music hall productions and show performers and sets. The last image in the collection (entitled "Folies-Bergere") is of a group of people seated and standing around a table. This photograph, dated 20 July 1920, includes the caption, "Fête de la 150me de 'L'amour en Folie.'"


Arranged by record type.

Index Terms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Walery photographs of Paris music hall productions. MS 3378. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

Related materials available in the following collections of this repository: Paris music halls collection, circa 1920-1939 ; Paris and London music hall costume designs, circa 1930s ; Freddy Wittop scrapbooks, 1927-1988 ; Josephine Baker photographs, ca. 1925-1975.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Scenes with Flowers

11Photo #1 - women with/as flowers
1Photo #2 - man with two flower-women
1Photo #3 - couple and flower-people dancing
1Photo #4 - single regular man by flowers
1Photo #5 - same man as #4 but with a tutu, posing
1Photo #6 - magnificiently dressed woman standing up to touch the flowers
1Photo #7 - couple and flower-people dancing

Miscellaneous Dancing Scenes and Records

12Photo #8 - Women dancing, hills and couple backdrop
2Photo #9 - Women dressed as records, with record backdrop
2Photo #10 - Two sailors with short captain woman, with record backdrop
2Photo #11 - Women as dancing records, with record backdrop
2Photo #12 - Royalty with crown and eagle, imperial backdrop
2Photo #25 - Dancing women (with hills backdrop) [larger version of #8]
2Photo #26 - Soldier with women (with hills backdrop)

Band scenes

13Photo #14 - Band
3Photo #15 - Band
3Photo #16 - Female singer with band
3Photo #17 - Male singer with band (impersonating Chinese?)
3Photo #13 - Male singer with band
3Photo #27 - Band

Chorus Line scenes

14Photo #18 - Chorus line of female dancers
4Photo #19 - Chorus line of female dancers (different outfits)
4Photo #20 - Epic marching line for war
4Photo #21 - Roses backdrop, chorus line
4Photo #22 - Dancers (clover-ish backdrop)
4Photo #23 - Chorus line of female dancers (as cats)
4Photo #24 - Line of flower-women and salsa-dancing man


15Photo #32 - 150th Festival of "Mad Love" on July 20, 1920 at Folies-Bergere
5Photo #31 - Persian-esque scene (mixed gender)
5Photo #30 - Bizarre landscape/attire, female dancers, couple in front
5Photo #29 - Exotic landscape/attire, female dancers
5Photo #28 - Couple (male is a soldier)