Madge West Joseph scrapbooks ca. 1926-ca. 1972
(Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material)

Book Cover
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Special Collections - Upon Request
Workroom range 5 section 8
1 available


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Special Collections - Upon RequestWorkroom range 5 section 8Library Use Only


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Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material
Physical Desc
.20 cu. ft (2 scrapbooks and 13 folders)


General Note
Materials housed in Special Collections Division of the Main Library, Nashville Public Library.
Restrictions on Access
In library use only. Available by appointment.
Scope and content: The collection consists of two theatrical scrapbooks and individually foldered photographs that belonged to the American actress Madge West Joseph (1892-1985). The primary and secondary sources include biographical newspaper articles, theatrical programs, theatrical reviews, photographs, correspondence, telegrams, and ephemera. The collection documents the actress's involvement with Nashville theatrical guilds and organizations that commenced after her marriage to Nashville native J. Barthell Joseph. The collection provides information about the history of Nashville's theatrical productions in which the actress performed or directed while living in Nashville during the 1920's through 1950's. The collection includes several published articles describing her career in New York.
The original theatrical programs in scrapbook #1 are the following: The Litte Theatre Guild: "The Imaginary Invalid," 1926; "Captain Applejack," 1926; "Meet the Wife," 1928; Orpheum Theatre: "Benefit Performance for the Flood Sufferers Under the Auspices of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce," 1927; The Centennial Club's production of "A Doll's House," n.d. and "Holiday," 1934; Nashville Little Theatre: "Hay Fever," ca. 1929; Peabody Aid Society: "The Old District School," ca. 1932; "The Offstage Noise" published by the Nashville Community Playhouse, March, 1939 and "Pursuit of Happiness," Feb., 1941; The Community Playhouse: "By Request," n.d., and "Calvacade of Invasions" presented by the Metropolitan Opera Guild at the Ryman Auditorium.
There are twelve photographs in scrapbook #1, which depict the following subjects: four photographs of stage scenes from "The Imaginary Invalid"--"My Stagecrafter Picnic, Montgomery Bell Academy"--actors in "Hay Fever" production--the Centennial Club Dramatic Department--Dr. A. M. Harris, Madge Joseph and other actors--the WSM radio "newsreel" of outstanding colleges in the nation-- Mrs. Joseph and her daughter Ann Cordelia--"Madge West and the WSM Players," with the Francis Craig Orchestra--Madge West Joseph on stage circa 1920's. Includes a newsclipping from "The Nashville Banner" titled "Stagecrafters Have Memorial Meeting for Dr. Schermerhorn" (Feb. 1935).
Scrapbook #2 includes theatrical programs of the following: Nashville Children's Theatre: "Daniel Boone," Nov. 1948; "The Emperor's New Clothes," n.d.; Nashville Community Playhouse: "Sophocles' Oedipus with the Warrior's Husband," 1947-48 season; "The Tempest," Dec. 1947, "Pygmalion," n.d.; "Peter Pan," n.d.; "The Royal Family," n.d.; "Victoria Regina," n.d. Includes some documentary sources about the family of the actress. Includes altogether twelve photographs related to various Nashville productions, actors in the CBS television production of "Look Homeward Angel," a studio portrait of Madge West Joseph and a birthday photograph of her son J. Barthell Joseph, Jr.
In separate folders are thirteen black & white photographs depicting various theatrical scenes in which actress Madge West Joseph appeared on the stage.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: Madge West Joseph scrapbooks, Special Collections Division, Nashville Public Library
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Mrs. Adrian Logan (Ann Cordelia Garrett Logan),gift;,1990.,Acc. RT-201.
Biographical or Historical Data
Madge West Joseph was born on May 18, 1892 in New York City, the youngest of five children of John and Mary Murray West. Her mother was fond of the stage and encouraged her stage career, which began at age five as "Cupid," playing opposite William S. Hart in the epic Broadway play "Ben Hur." Madge graduated from the Finch School in New York and studied under the American playwright and theatrical producer David Belasco, appearing in major roles in several early Broadway productions. Her stage career branched out to television, and she appeared in some of the earlist live television shows as "Kraft Television Theatre" and "The Garry Moore Show" and "The Jackie Gleason Show." West was a film actress in feature films such as "Leave It to Susan" (1919 film), "Madcap Madge" (1917 film) and other film productions prior to her marriage to J. Barthell Joseph, a WWI soldier she met while performing with the YMCA tour in France. The couple married circa 1920 and soon afterward moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they raised their two children and she became active in local theatre such as the Stagecrafters, The Little Theatre, and Community Theatre. Known in the newspapers as Mrs. J. Barthell Joseph, she was the first drama director at WSM radio and directed the Nashville Children's Theatre for many years. On March 23, 1933, she directed the WSM Players in a benefit show for the East Nashville tornado relief at the Orpheum Theater. Her husband died in 1947 and a few years later Mrs. Joseph went back to New York. In addition to her career in theatrical and movie productions, her credits include appearing on the cover of Esquire magazine (July 1971), and she starred in more than 1000 television commercials sponsored by such firms as Procter & Gamble, Citgo, Morton's Salt, and Braniff Airlines. Additional movie credits include "June Moon," "For Love of Ivy," "The Miracle Workers," and "Butterfield 8." Circa 1980, Madge West Joseph moved to Memphis, Tennessee to be near her daughter and became active in the Calvary Episcopal Church. Madge West Joseph died at her Memphis, Tennessee home at age ninety-three. A memorial service was held at Calvary Episcopal Church, and her ashes were buried in Spring Hill Cemetery on Gallatin Pike in the Nashville, Tennessee suburb of Madison.
In English
Ownership and Custodial History
The scrapbooks originally belonged to Madge West Joseph and were probably compiled by her.
Accumulation and Frequency of Use
No further accruals are expected.
Local note
Book jacket image original source: enlarged portion of photograph of the Imaginary Invalid performance (digital filename: MWJ - Little Theatre, The Imaginary Invalid)


APA Citation, 7th Edition (style guide)

Joseph, M. W. Madge West Joseph scrapbooks .

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Joseph, Madge West, 1892-1985. Madge West Joseph Scrapbooks. .

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities (Notes and Bibliography) Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Joseph, Madge West, 1892-1985. Madge West Joseph Scrapbooks .

MLA Citation, 9th Edition (style guide)

Joseph, Madge West. Madge West Joseph Scrapbooks

Note! Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy. Citation formats are based on standards as of August 2021.

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