Item No: #362784 Carmencita [Carmen Dauset Moreno] [Cabinet Card Photograph]. Sarony.
Carmencita [Carmen Dauset Moreno] [Cabinet Card Photograph]

The First Woman on Film in America

Carmencita [Carmen Dauset Moreno] [Cabinet Card Photograph]


Notes: A mounted photograph of the Spanish dancer Carmencita, who was a popular entertainer in New York from 1889 to 1895. She posed for portraits by John Singer Sargent and WIlliam Merritt Chase. In 1894, Thomas Edison asked her to dance in front of his new motion picture camera. According to the Library of Congress's web page showing a digital version of the film, "Spanish dancer Carmencita was the first woman to appear in front of an Edison motion picture camera," making her likely to be the first woman on film in the US.

In 1895, she returned to Europe where she toured for a time before she married a wealthy Russian who either committed suicide or was murdered by Carmencita after he lost his fortune gambling. Carmencita returned to dancing and toured the US in the early 1910s, where her press agents were happy to talk up her husband's demise in the newspapers.

Albumen print, 3-7/8 by 5-1/2 inches, on a light brown mount with a rust-colored border and imprint (Sarony 37 Union Sqr., N.Y.). Captioned "Carmencita" using a black ink stamp.

Edition + Condition: Image somewhat light and sepia colored, with medium contrast. Mount near fine, with markings on the verso (back) including ink stamps and an id number written in purple pencil.

Publication: New York: Sarony, [ca. 1890].

Item No: #362784

Price: $400