Myrna Loy: A True Silverscreen Siren

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Allow me to introduce to you Myrna Loy.  The first time I saw a picture of Myrna Loy I didn’t know who the person was in the photograph. There wasn’t a name, it was just the picture, and I was captivated by the photograph. It was the one you see above. The hair, her face, and eyes made me stop and notice. Even the way her shoulder is peeking out from the bottom of the picture just made me stop in my tracks and stare. It was later on that I found the same picture but then it was identified as Myrna Loy.

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While scouring the interwebs for Jazz Age photos, I came across many other pictures of Ms. Loy. She’s even more captivating seeing a front faced photo. So naturally, I took it upon myself to learn about her and her career.

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Myrna Loy was born August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana. Her mother moved her and her brother permanently to California after their father died from the Spanish influenza in 1917. Myrna had already been dabbling in the fine arts by this time which was the catalyst to her career during the 1920s. I read that during her silent film career she often played vamps or femme fatales. She most often played characters of Asian or Eurasion background. She worked to shake this stereotype. She continued her career through the 1930s up until the start of World War II when she put her career on the back burner and focused more on the war effort. I read that she was very outspoken about being against Adolf Hitler (go Myrna!) and because of this, her name was on his blacklist. She picked up her acting career after the second World War, although the acting train slowed down again during the 1950s.

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Throughout her career she worked to ensure black actors had rights in the film industry. She seemed ahead of her time which makes this silent film star actress even more cooler. She made a few other films during the span of the 1960s and 1970s but stopped acting after 1982. She married four times and had no children of her own. She didn’t stop rallying for human rights as she was Co-Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing. She was a big fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt and became a personal friend to his wife, Eleanor. She was a member of UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and was the first celebrity to do so. Her last public appearance was in 1991 when she accepted the Academy Honorary Award for her career achievement. Throughout her life, she was destined to make a mark in history either on film or her work outside film.

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Myrna Loy passed away on December 14, 1993. She was cremated in New York but her ashes lay in Helena, Montana. She published an autobiography in 1987 called, Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming. I’m planning to pick up a copy so I can hear from her words her transcendence through the 20th century. I noticed she even had a “shout-out” in the 1991 film, The Rocketeer, when the main character told his budding actress sweetheart, “You got a big part. You stood behind Myrna Loy with a bowl of grapes.”

In the majority of the pictures I’ve seen of her she doesn’t smile. The one I did find, she seemed just as charming and alluring as when she doesn’t smile. However, not smiling never seemed to deter her look because her eyes spoke volumes. I can only imagine how many hearts were stopped when they met her. Her eyes are just mesmerizing. She is truly the definition of the phrase, “the cat’s meow,” and then some. Now for some Myrna Loy eye-candy.

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Art Deco Weekend in Virginia: Day One, Part 2

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So here we are, at the Jazz Age Preservation Ball hosted by the Art Deco Society of Virginia. The event was at the historic Bolling Haxall House. Talk about a grand place to put on such an elegant event. The historic building is an 1858 Italianate Mansion. If you read my recent post about Second Empire style, you can figure I was about to have a heart attack when I entered the place.

The event was to benefit the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Virginia. The Art Deco Society of Virginia aims to raise funds through the Jazz Age Preservation Ball for one of Virginia’s  selected Art Deco preservation projects. The Byrd Theatre definitely had the classiest-looking benefactors to raise awareness about it’s preservation. The night kicked off with some dance lessons by two of the Art Deco Society of Virginia’s board members. Guests grabbed their partners and learned the Charleston to get them ready for dancing the night away.

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Everyone danced to the sounds of the Blue Crescent Syncopators, a jazz and swing band that brings back the music from the 1920s to 1930s. There was a silent auction that had a bevy of jazz age items for guests to bid on. Guests could sign up to get their photo taken by photographer Lynn Redmile so they could capture their twenties look. There was plenty of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy while mingling among each other.

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Towards the end of the evening there was a burlesque performance by The Garter Snaps. The Garter Snaps are burlesque-duo that treated the Jazz Age Preservation Ball guests to a hot little number to the music of  1933’s “We’re in the Money.”

We were so glad we got to experience such an extravagant event. It was such a sight to see everyone dressed up to celebrate their love for this era and help raise money for Art Deco preservation. It truly was the cherry on top to our weekend and we look forward to next year!

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Getting Decked Out in Art Deco

First thing first, happy new year!

I’m a little belated on my happy 2014 exclamation. I did have a fun and entertaining New Year’s Eve celebration and kissed 2013 goodbye.

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Currently, my husband and I are getting ready for the next big event on our agenda, the Jazz Age Preservation Ball in Richmond, VA. We are SO excited! The Jazz Age Preservation Ball is created and presented by the Art Deco Society of Virginia.   I stumbled across the non-profit organization and found they put on this extravagant event. So my husband and I thought, let’s go! This will be their second year and by the looks of the photos from their inaugural event, it’s going to be a grand time.

I am a Jazz Age and Art Deco enthusiast and love to get my hands on anything from this era. My husband and I love this time period so much our wedding was 1920s themed. (See article on this here ☞ Saying ‘I do’ Roaring Twenties Style.) I’ve always had a dormant obsession with the twenties. Unconsciously admiring the structure of finger waves and secretly falling in love with the flapper style. I love many decades between the 1880s to 1960s, but if I had to choose, hands down the 1920s win. This time is just intoxicating for me. The colors, style, architecture, and the way America was after the Great War and before the second one. When we became engaged and I was going over the theme of our wedding with our photographer, she suggested I start a Pinterest board to give me wedding ideas. At the time we had not decided on a 1920s-themed wedding, but knew we wanted a vintage-theme event. I started my search and started to come across couples who had done this. Thus began my (so far) 1, 777 pinned images of the 1920s style. I could literally live my life in this style, no joke.

So we’ve prepared for our trip to Virginia and are ready to attend the Ball. We’re looking forward to meeting other Jazz Age and Art Deco enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for details on this event!

Here’s a sneak of my dress ☞ photo

Now please, let me show you some images of what I’m obsessing about. 🙂

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