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1 Mar 2021

Photos of actresses (and their amazing lives) from the Tenement House

Written by Ana Sanchez De la Vega, Visitor Services Supervisor at the Tenement House
Collage of old photos of women .actresses in various costumes and poses
As a teenager, did you ever collect photographs of your favourite celebrities? Miss Agnes Toward collected many images of her favourite stars.

The women in these images were well-known stars of their time, but they belong to a bygone era and their success is unknown to many of our visitors today. We have looked into their lives and discovered that they were often as dramatic as the plays they acted in.

Collecting ‘cartes de visite’ and, later on, postcards of famous actresses became common from the latter half of the 1800s, when Victorians were fascinated by the development of photography. Actors took advantage of this and used widely produced studio photographs as an opportunity to market themselves.

Miss Toward, who lived at the Tenement House, and her friends used these postcards to exchange information – they were the texts and Facebook messages of their day. By reading them, we can get a better idea about their likes and interests.

Click on the images to learn more about the actresses in the photos.

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