A few years ago a batch of rather delightful costume designs were sold on ebay all drawn, and many signed, by the rather enigmatic Gertrude A. Johnson. But who was Gertrude Johnson? Since the drawings come from America one can deduce that she was American and the distinctive style of her work, reflecting the prevailing eccentricities of the Jazz Age, clearly places them in the 1920s.
The British artist Hugh Willoughby rose to prominence in the new wave of costume designers and illustrators that emerged after the First World War during the Jazz Age. He made a name for himself in London and Paris before moving to the USA in the mid 1920s.
The French Casino
In December 1934, the refurbished Earl Carroll Theatre located on the south-east corner of 7th Ave and 50th Street, New York City, opened as the French Casino. This glittering supper club was described by Fortune magazine as ‘a vast scarlet and silver restaurant which, in terraced rows of tables, seats fifteen hundred people without any crowding.’ For a short three year period it became the unrivalled premier nightspot in New York.
Welcome to the Jazz Age Club
I have had a passion about the Jazz Age of the 1920s and 1930s for a long time, especially anything relating to film, stage, cabaret, fashion and art. But, I have found that although there is a wealth of information about this period online, there is no general portal that encompasses all aspects of the period. I also want to introduce new topics and views not explored elsewhere to bring the period alive in a more diverse way instead of just focusing on the usual suspects such as Al Capone, Fitzgerald, the Bright Young Things and fancy dress parties.
Although my main focus is about art, culture and entertainment, this website is designed to become a central resource and open forum for all news, views, reviews and stories about anything relating to the period of the 20s and 30s but in reality will span 1900-1940 which can loosely be described as the Jazz Age. It will also be international in flavour covering both American and European subjects.
All posts are arranged thematically by subject and can be seen under the categories tab on the left.
If you would like to contribute a piece for these pages please contact me. Equally, please feel free to leave your comments.
All images and text © copyright Gary Chapman / Jazz Age Club and must not be re-used without prior consent
The Jazz Age Club is now represented at Mary Evans Picture Library (www.maryevans.com), the UK’s leading source for historical imagery.