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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • OCTOBER'S BRIGHT BLUE WEATHER: 1940

Evelyn and Russell: 1913

Evelyn and Russell: 1913

New York, 1913. "Mrs. Evelyn Nesbit Thaw and son." Photo by Arnold Genthe, whose serene portrait belies the intensity of the scandal that engulfed Evelyn when her husband killed her former lover, the architect Stanford White, in 1906. While Harry Thaw denied paternity of the child raised as his son, Evelyn always maintained that Russell Thaw was conceived during a conjugal visit with her husband at Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. View full size.

 

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Joan Collins, too

Evelyn Nesbitt was also played by the gorgeous Joan Collins in the film "The Girl in the Red Swing". And, as all Shorpyites know, she was the model for the statue of Diana, that once was atop the original (actually the second, as I recall) Madison Square Garden, and now graces the entrance to the present Garden.

Not just beautiful, but stylish

Contrast Evelyn's smart, contemporary appearance with the norm for women's clothing in 1913 -- ridiculously elaborate "picture hats" and overstuffed gowns -- and it's amazing to realize her photo was taken 100 years ago.

Barbara Stanwyck could've played her

Check out this video of Evelyn Nesbit "singing" in the early 1930's and see if you don't agree.

Russell William Thaw

This handsome boy, Russell William Thaw, grew up to be a noted pilot. During World War II, he scored five air victories, and after the war, served as a test pilot for Douglas Aircraft, flying early jet bomber prototypes.

Casting in "Ragtime"

Decades ago Evelyn Nesbit was played by the young Elizabeth McGovern, now Downton's Lady Grantham. Seeing this photo makes me think that casting choice was a good one for physical resemblance.

A tragic sort of beauty

She was a profoundly beautiful woman indeed, though quite a tragic one.

My vote on paternity

Looking at pictures of Harry Thaw as a young man, my guess is that this exceptionally beautiful little boy was very likely conceived as his mother said.

It's funny that little rich boys had to dress in a manner that boys from less well-off families would have laughed at!

More victim than not

There is a wonderful biography about Evelyn Nesbit that came out in 2008 entitled "American Eve,"" written by Paula Uruburu. Nesbit's is a fascinating story and reading the book inspired me to learn more about Stanford White and all the other players in NY at the turn of the last century. She was one of the first American "superstars" and her image was all over. The White/Thaw murder trial was as riveting in its time as another infamous American murder trial nearly ninety years later.

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