Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Alice Blue Gown

This print is offered for sale in my etsy shop.

On one of my antiquing jaunts, I found this amazing framed print, called "Alice Blue Gown." Some speculate that the painting is of Teddy Roosevelt's spitfire of a daughter, Alice, but apparently the print was done during the time that Alice was quite the sensation. According to Wikipedia: Alice blue is a pale tint of azure that was favored by Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt and which sparked a fashion sensation in the United States. The hit song "Alice Blue Gown", inspired by Longworth's signature gown, premiered in the 1919 Broadway musical Irene. The musical was made into a film in 1940 starring Anna Neagle and Ray Milland.

Here's a stanza from the song:
In my sweet little Alice blue gown
When I first wandered down into town
I was both proud and shy, as I felt every eye
And in every shop window I primped passing by
Then in manner of fashion, I'd frown
And the world seemed to smile all around
'Til it wilted, I wore it, I'll always adore it
My sweet little Alice blue gown

Here's a little biographical info on Alice:
When her father took office following the assassination of President William McKinley (an event that "filled (me) with an extreme rapture") Alice became an instant celebrity and fashion icon. The song Alice Blue Gown was written as an ode to her and her signature color. She was also known as a rule breaker in an era when women were under great pressure to conform. One of her most famous actions was the smoking of a cigarette in public, something that would have national ramifications. When her father banned her from smoking in the White House, Alice followed her father's instructions by moving her smoking to the roof of the White House. President Roosevelt was quoted once as saying I can run the country, or I can control my daughter, but I can't do both.” Alice was the center of attention in social context of her father's Presidency. "She is",” President Roosevelt said, "the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral."”



5 comments:

JoAnne said...

How interesting Melissa. I actually have this print hanging in my dining room. I found it an an estate sale last year and was immediately drawn to it.
I live in Buffalo, where there is a very strong Roosevelt/McKinley historical connection, which now makes my print even more enjoyable.
Hope you'll stop by. I'm now hosting Tutorial Tuesdays on my blog and would love you to be a guest artist. Will you? Please?

A Cottage Muse said...

She is just lovely!

Queenie said...

The picture is beautiful, that you found very interesting story too..I think I like this Alice Blue Gown lady...sounds like she knew how to toot her own horn, yep I like that kinda gal :)
Hope you are doing well Melissa...I've missed you, girl!
Big Hugs,
Queenie

Tor said...

Hello, do you have any idea where I can get a copy of this picture? I'm based in the UK.

If you know, can you email me tornumber9@hotmail.com

Thanks so much, Tor x

Lynette Anear said...

Hi, the model for this picture was my grandmother, my sister has some of the drawings that were done at the same time.
Lynette