John Donelson Whalley theatre scrapbook, ca. 1887-ca. 1888.
(Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material)

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Special Collections - Upon Request
Workroom range 3 section 1
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Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material
Physical Desc
1 v.


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: A scrapbook journal related to theatrical and operatic productions at the Theatre Vendome circa the 1887-88 season. Includes the handwritten playscript "Lights and Shadows" by Louis Davis, with a diagram of stage settings. The published clippings pertain to performances at the Theatre Vendome, the Masonic Theatre, and The Grand Opera House, all located in Nashville, Tennessee. Circa the 1887-88 season many prominent artists appeared in Nashville, particularly at the Vendome, such as Lawrence Barrett, Edwin Booth, Joseph Jefferson, Helena Modjeska and James O'Neill. A few items in the scrapbook relate to theaters in Kansas, Ohio, New York, and London.
Includes a Theatre Vendome program titled "Grand Entertainment for the Benefit of the Confederate Monument," Dec. 12, 1887.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: John Donelson Whalley Theatre Scrapbook, 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
Ann Jennalie Cook (Mrs. Gerald G. Calhoun);,Gift;,2006.,Acc. 2006.033.
Biographical or Historical Data
According to The New York Mirror Annual and Directory of the Theatrical Profession (1888) the production of "Lights and Shadows," melodrama, by Louis Davis, was presented at the Grand Opera House, Nashville, Tennessee. The amateur cast included Jean Houston, Norella Houston, Robert A. Hiller, Louis Davis, Ella Joyce, George W. Granger, and Messrs. Fox, Doyle, and Consadine. The Grand Opera House was located at 431 North Cherry Street (Fourth Avenue), the historic playhouse that opened July 1, 1850, as The Adelphi. This theater operated under various names and managements as the Nashville, the Gaiety, May's Grand, Milsom's and possibly others. In the summer of 1875, the Grand Opera House was renovated by the architect W.R. Gunn and the scenic artist, R.H. Halley, under the supervision of N.E. Alloway. The leasing and management personnel for the 1887-88 season were Anglim & Co., Lessees; E.V. Anglim, Manager; Green H. Anderson, Musical Director; E.C. Faircloth, Treasurer; James Doyle, Master Machinist; W.C. Bryant, Electrician.
Biographical or Historical Data
The Vendome opened October 2, 1887, built as an opera house with two balconies and sixteen private boxes. The building was located on Church Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, facing the Capitol from the south side of Church Street. J. Oliver Milsom was the Proprietor and Manager of the Vendome, with L.D. Abbott, Musical Director. The theater seated sixteen hundred patrons and had steam heat, electricity, and an elevator. The interior design included a main curtain featuring scenes from the Paris Place Vendome in surroundings of high Victorian decor. The first performance, following the dedicatory speech by Colonel Thomas Craighead, was October 3, 1887 featuring Emma Abbott in "Il Trovatore." Attractions booked for the opening season included primarily Shakespeare plays and operas, with a few other types of entertainment such as Haverly's Mastodon Minstrels and Kellar the Magician. The W.T. Carleton Opera Company was engaged for "Ermine," "Nanon," and "Merry War." Additional highlights of the 1887-88 season included performances by Madame Modjeska in the plays "Adrienne Lecouvreur," "As You Like It," "Mary Stuart," and "Romeo and Juliet." In late January 1888, Lawrence Barrett and Edwin Booth appeared in four plays by Shakespeare: "Othello," "Hamlet," "Merchant of Venice," and "Julius Caesar." Robert Downing appeared in "The Gladiator," followed by "Julius Caesar." The British actress Lily Langtry, supported by Charles Coghlan, appeared in "As in a Looking Glass" and "A Wife's Peril." James O'Neill produced "Monte Cristo" at the Vendome from March 19-21, 1888. The season closed for the summer after Joseph Jefferson appeared in "Rip Van Winkle." Later, during the mid-1920's, the facility was operated as a vaudeville and movies venue known as "Loew's Vendome Theatre." In August 1967 the building's structure was irreparably damaged by a fire that destroyed the ceiling, roof, and auditorium. The lobby remained intact until the mid-1980s, when it and an adjacent parking garage were demolished for the building of Church Street Center.
Biographical or Historical Data
The Masonic Theatre was a very popular theatrical venue in Nashville, located at 422 Church Street, just west of the Maxwell House. The theater was situated on the second floor of the Old Masonic Hall that had been rebuilt in 1859-1860 to include a theater, with a reception room on the main floor. A local critic proclaimed it a most attractive theater "surpassing anything in the South outside of New Orleans." The leasing and management personnel for the 1887-88 season were the same personnel that ran The Grand Opera House: Anglim & Co., Lessees; E.V. Anglim, Manager; Green H. Anderson, Musical Director; E.C. Faircloth, Treasurer; James Doyle, Master Mechanic; W.C. Bryant, Electrician. The theater was renamed the Bijou in 1892; in 1896, it was remodeled and refurbished to become the New Masonic.
In English
Ownership and Custodial History
Dr. Ann Jennalie Cook (Mrs. Gerald G. Calhoun), Professor Emerita of English, Vanderbilt University held custodial stewardship of the collection prior to donation to the Nashville Public Library in 2006. The theatrical book had been in the possession of her late husband, John Donelson Whalley and originally belonged to his parents, Emily Donelson and A.E. Whalley. According to family legend, the volume was compiled by a Donelson cousin, a 19th-century theatre connoisseur.
Process,2007;,Leanne Garland
Accumulation and Frequency of Use
No further accruals are expected.


APA Citation, 7th Edition (style guide)

John Donelson Whalley theatre scrapbook .

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

John Donelson Whalley Theatre Scrapbook. .

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

John Donelson Whalley Theatre Scrapbook .

MLA Citation, 9th Edition (style guide)

John Donelson Whalley Theatre Scrapbook

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