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Florence Fetz Mansfield papers

 Collection
Identifier: SCU-RB-2005-4
This collection comprises correspondence, photographs and a scrapbook associated with the American actress Minnie Maddern Fiske (1865-1932) and collected by her niece Florence Fetz Mansfield. The correspondence, both from Mrs. Fiske and her husband Harrison Grey Fiske (1861-1942) was to Florence Mansfield. Most of it is from the mid 1920s. Photographs are of the Fiskes, Florence Mansfield, and Mrs. Fiske’s first husband Legrand White. The scrapbook is devoted to Mrs. Fiske’s professional career and contains playbills, articles announcing the opening of her plays, clippings, and reviews of her performances. Minnie Maddern Fiske was born in New Orleans on December 19, 1865 and began acting as a child. She was one of the leading stage actors of the late nineteenth and first quarter of the twentieth centuries and is credited with bringing the work of Henrik Ibsen to American attention. She also performed Shakespeare, Restoration comedy, and works she or she and her husband wrote. Much of her time seems to have been spent on the road performing, without her husband. Childless, she concerned herself with her extended family as this correspondence with her niece, Florence Mansfield, demonstrates. She was also an animal rights advocate, serving as Honorary Chairman of the Human Trapping Committee, American Humane Association, Albany, NY. She died in New York on February 15, 1932 at the age of 66. These materials belonged to, related to, or concerned the American actress Minnie Maddern Fiske and were collected by her niece, Florence Mansfield Fetz. Box 1 includes photographs, some taken at the Fiske’s summer house, Camp Veery, on Big Moose Lake in New York’s Adirondack mountains; letters; and postcards. Legrand White, Minnie Maddern Fiske’s first husband, is included among the photographs. There are also a number of letters from Harrison Grey Fiske to Florence Mansfield. The undated letters to Florence Mansfield seem to be from the mid 1920s. Box 1 is arranged in reverse chronological order. Many of the letters were written on the road as Mrs. Fiske toured. The scrapbook in Box 2 contains newspaper clippings and obituaries of both Minnie Maddern Fiske and her husband, Harrison Grey Fiske. Folder 3 in Box 2 includes lavish praise by Brooks Atkinson, the noted theater critic.

Dates

  • 1924 - 1955

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with the estate of the creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

Extent

2 boxes

Repository Details

Part of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene Street
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-3847

Status
Completed
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script