CLARA KIMBALL YOUNG

Vintage 7.5 x 9.5 double-weight silver gelatin chest-up print by Witzel, circa 1918, boldly signed and inscribed in white fountain pen, “To Mr. Williams/Sincerely/Clara Kimball Young.”  Fine condition, with a mild handling bend in her dress; and faint silvering, primarily around the edges, both the bend and the silvering virtually invisible when the photograph is viewed head on.  Initially cast in light comic one- and two-reelers, silent screen actress gradually transitioned to tragic heroines in full-length features, and was ranked as America’s most popular screen actress for several years.  But as public tastes began to shift in the 1920s, she began to be criticized as too stiff and matronly, and her career as a leading lady was at an end by 1925.  Virtually bankrupt by the start of the Great Depression, she returned to films in supporting roles in 1931, continuing to appear with some regularity until 1940.

$125