Section One

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Miss Ada Rehan
Ada Rehan
David Allen and Sons Ltd. Lithography Company, 1898

The elegant decorative features of this commercially produced stock poster are reminiscent of 1890s wallpaper designs of stylized floral motifs and geometric patterns. With ornamental lettering to add to the effect, the poster is designed to promote the elegance and stature of Ada Rehan, a leading lady of the American stage, in any of her acclaimed roles.

Here, the specifics of the performance are crudely stamped at the top of the poster, referring to her appearance at the Harlem Opera House on April 18, 1898, in The Country Girl. By that time, Rehan, a principal with Augustin Daly’s famous company for nearly twenty years, had a loyal following. Actor Otis Skinner had once described her performance as “buoyant, scintillant, with a manner unlike other women, a voice that melted and caressed as it drawled, an awkward grace, an arch expression, a look of mischief in her gray Irish eyes.”