The story I wrote for the Museum of the City of New York was published as of yesterday. As I mentioned in the story, it was kind of challenging to find information on someone who worked behind the scenes from 100 years ago. Yet, for me, it was more enjoyable to write about someone with limited information than someone with abundance of information.
Since MacGeachy was a behind-the-scenes artist, there was not much press coverage on herself and her work compared to famous people such as the showgirls who wore the costumes she designed. However, as a living person, the fame did not measure the amount of information found on the U.S. Census. I was able to find about the same amount of background information about her as about more well-known people of the same era.
Unfortunately, I was not able to find any pictures of her, her mother, or her father. However, I found some written information on their appearances. In the end, I had a lot more information on MacGeachy than I could fit in one story.
I saved all of the information I found in a folder in the shared drive of the Museum for future use. I would like to list some of the findings which I did not mention in the story.
- MacGeachy had gray eyes and raven black hair. (Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1925)
- Her mother, Cora Macey was a blonde. (Louisville Courier Journal, December 7, 1882)
- MacGeachy was born in Manhattan, 5 days before the Coney Island Earthquake of 1884. (U.S. Census)
- Her work in "Fads and Fancies" was criticized for malfunctioning. (Courier Journal, March 14, 1915)
- Rudolph Valentino gave her a silver belt buckle and belt that he wore in “The Sheik.” (Chicago Daily Tribune, September 28, 1942)
- She wrote a story on The New York Herald titled “Men Modistes No Rarity in Fashion World" (February 28, 1926)
- The earliest rendering by MacGeachy I was able to come across during my research (but did not have the chance to see in person) was "Portrait of William Gillette" (1904) from The Admirable Crichton (1903), stored at Yale University library.
Please read the story I wrote, "Showgirls Costume Designer and Song Writer Cora MacGeachy" on the Museum of the City of New York website. Thank you.