Wotherspoon, G. (George)
Billy Rose Theatre Division
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
The George Wotherspoon papers consist of a scrapbook of clippings and other items, documents such as letters, caricatures, and photographs, and a poster advertising the1889 production of LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY which was an early milestone in George Wotherspoon's career. The bulk of the collection is found in a scrapbook which was apparently begun by Wotherspoon himself in the 1930s and completed by his daughter Elita Wilson in 1990. Wotherspoon wrote a 9-page Chronology for this scrapbook, covering the highlights of his career from 1889 to 1934. The Chronology is followed by dozens of testimonial letters from various employers speaking highly of Wotherspoon and his professional abilities. Also in the scrapbook are clippings of Wotherspoon's play reviews and theater-related feature stories from the New York Evening Journal circa 1900-1902, and the New York Telegram, circa 1917-1918. Also in the scrapbook, tucked within the front cover, are two items: a souvenir ticket made of silver which commemorates the opening night of INFORMATION, PLEASE!, the premiere attraction at the Selwyn Theatre which opened on October 2, 1918, and a booklet entitled LITTLE MESSAGES OF TRUTH AND FICTION by George Wotherspoon,published in 1917 and featuring what the author consideredhis best advertising lines. Also in the collection are photographs of Maxine Elliott and Mrs. Leslie Carter.
George Wotherspoon was a theatrical and motion picture publicist, theatrical manager, stage critic, and journalist. George Wotherspoon began his theatrical career in 1889, when he managed the Australian and European tour of LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY. He was a published critic as early as 1887, and in the summer 1895 he began a daily column for the New York Evening Telegram.In 1899 he began a five-year stint with the New York Evening Journal as reporter and drama editor. Wotherspoon's involvement in motion pictures began as early as 1899, when he promoted a film depicting the Tom Sharkey-Jim Jeffries boxing match. In 1911, he promoted anexperimental "Kinemacolor" film of the coronation of King George V. For several years, beginning in 1904, Wotherspoon was a press agent for the Dreamland and Luna Park attractions at Coney Island. From 1917 to 1920, he worked as reporter, columnist, drama critic, and writer offeature stories for the New York Evening Telegram. Throughout this period he also acted as press agent for motion pictures such as CLEOPATRA (1917) starring Theda Bara, D. W. Griffith's ORPHANS OF THE STORM (1921), and Cecil B. DeMille's KING OF KINGS (1927). Wotherspoon continued to act as manager and advance man for stage shows through the 1920s, and, in the waning days of vaudeville, managed units of players who would perform in motion picture theaters prior to the showing of the film.
Controlled Access Terms
- Wotherspoon, G. (George)
- Carter, Leslie, Mrs., 1862-1937.
- Elliott, Maxine, 1871-1940.
- Theater -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
- Theater -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
- Motion picture industry -- United States -- History.
- Silent films -- United States -- History.
- Press agents -- United States.