FROHMAN, Mrs Daniel (Margaret Illington)


Description:
Three-quarter length seated, her left arm supporting her chin, and ‘…wearing one of the gowns worn by her in “Mrs. Leffingwall’s Boots,” in which she scored a pronounced success last spring.’ (undated cutting, 1906).

Location:
Present Whereabouts Unknown.

Exhibitions:
M. KNOEDLER & CO., 355 Fifth Avenue, New York, December 3 – 6, 1906, No. 3, as ‘Mrs Daniel Frohman’.
PARIS SALON, 1907, No. 1191: “Mme. Daniel Frohman, à New York, et à Paris chez MM. KNOEDLER et cie, rue Saint Honore, 356”.
M. KNOEDLER & CO., 355, Fifth Avenue (corner of Thirty-fourth Street), New York, January 13 – 23, 1908, No. 11, as ‘Miss Margaret Illington’.
THE CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART, Washington D.C., February 4 – 19, 1908, No. 9, as ‘Miss Margherite Illington’.
McCLEES GALLERIES, 1411, Walnut Street, Philadelphia, February 1908, as ‘Margaret Illington (Mrs. Daniel Frohman)’.

Bibliography:
Metropolitan Magazine, Vol. XXV, No. 1, October 5, 1906 (reproduced)
New York Herald, December 5, 1906
Brooklyn Eagle, December 5, 1906
American Art News, New York, December 8, 1906
New York Evening Post, December 12, 1906
The World Magazine, January 12, 1908 (reproduced)
Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, January 14, 1908
Catholic News, New York, January 18, 1908
The New York Sun, January 18, 1908
The New York Evening Mail, January 18, 1908
American Art News, Vol. 6, No. 14, New York, January 18, 1908, p. 6
The Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, Wednesday, February 26, 1908
Brooklyn Life, March 21, 1908

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Notes

Margaret Illington was born Maude Light on July 23, 1881 at Bloomington, Indiana and died on March 11, 1934 in Miami Beach, Florida.  She married Daniel Frohman in 1903, but they divorced in 1909, and later she married the composer and music arranger Major Edward Bowes (1874-1946).

Mrs. Daniel Frohman, a popular actress, was the wife of the theatrical manager of the New York Lyceum theatre (1851-1940). The Brooklyn Eagle, December 5, 1906 described the picture as ‘…in the artist’s happiest manner, the sitter gazing in almost a challenging way at the spectator.’ American Art News, December 8, 1906, wrote that the portrait ‘…is easy and graceful in pose, attractive in its collar scheme of Grays, and a good likeness.’

The New York Press, December 9, 1906 did not agree: ‘Mr. Muller-Ury has nothing new to say in this show of eight canvases, most of them being in his most commonplace vein, which is about the lowest level of contemporary art in this line. One canvas alone is sufficient to show his limitations, that of Mrs. Daniel Frohman, who is familiar to the larger public as Miss Margaret Illington. The painter has done little justice to the charm of Mrs. Frohman’s face, and one is particularly impressed by the slovenly drawing of the fingers of the left hand that rests against her face, Juliet fashion.’

In the autumn of 1906 (the letter is actually undated) Mrs. Frohman wrote the following letter stuck in the artist’s papers to Müller-Ury from 159, West 79th Street:

‘Dear Mr. Muller-Ury,

I have been out of town, and have just received your letter. I am delighted to know that you are back, and I hope to see you very soon.

My husband has sent for the bill. Certainly whatever charges there are to paid, he will be only too glad to pay – only I wanted to wait until I heard from you about the price.

My husband tells me that the picture has been very much admired and he has received the photographs, which seem to reflect most happily the beauty of your work.

The picture is a constant delight to me, as I know it is to my husband; and as he always liked it he is happy to hear it praised, as it is.

With cordial greetings,

                                    Sincerely yours, Margaret Frohman.’

The New York Herald, December 8, 1906, in its review of Muller-Ury’s exhibition at M. KNOEDLER & CO., December 3 – 16, 1906, omits Mrs. Frohman but adds Master H.O. Havemeyer to the list.

The card reproduced here was printed in 1906 by the Rotogravure Company.


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