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Figure Mrs. Bertha Kunz Baker Direction of Fred. Pelham Suite 415-425 Orchestra building, Chicago MRS. BERTHA KUNZ BAKER believes that the greatest treasures of America lie not in her mines and her fields, but in the minds and hearts of her people, in the tremendous spiritual endowment which is composite of the best of all nations and makes this, potentially, the greatest nation that has ever come to be in the history of the world. She believes that America is elected to be the torch-bearer among modern nations, that in America the twentieth century will witness the greatest achievements in Life and Art, and she believes therefor not only in America for Americans but the best of all times and lands for Americans. Mrs. Baker deals with literature, especially the drama, as a great playground for the human spirit, where we may find recreation and gain skill to play the game of life, and feels that it is the office of all Art to lead out sympathies beyond the experiences of individual life, to give us share in the joys, the sorrows, the hopes, the visions of out fellowmen, to reveal us unto ourselves, and to give us to understand out true relation to Humanity, to Nature and to God- and so to lift life upon a plane of clearer vision, purer feeling, gentler and more generous action- to bring harmony and beauty and joy into everyday life, to free man from himself, and let him enter the Life Universal. As an interpreter of the drama, Mrs. Baker stands absolutely alone for range of vision, breadth of sympathies, versatility of genius and power of inspiring enthusiasm. French and German by descent, American by birth, intensely American in her sympathies, educated in the public schools of America, subsequently living and studying at various times in England, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Mrs. Baker has been associated with the school, the universities, the Chautauquas, the lecture curses of forty-seven states and territories. It has been her passion and her joy to search the world for the best man has thought or felt or dreamed or done, and to pour it as a vital force into the life of to-day. She is still searching, and she returns form year to year to the people. Her greatest happiness comes when, with Kipling’s “Explorer,” she can say of some new truth or beauty, And I’ve found it, AND IT’S YOURS This world’s no plot for us, No blank; it means intensely, and means good Commendatory NotesDr. G. R. BENTON President Miami University, OxfordDuring more than twenty years’ experience in educational work, it has been my good fortune to hear those who have been and are considered the great readers of their day. Mrs. Bertha Kunz Baker, I unhesitatingly pronounce the greatest of all.Mr. THOMAS B. ALDRICH Boston, Mass.I have always disliked to hear my own poems read, but it was a pleasure to me to listen to Mrs. Baker’s reading of “Judith and Holofernes.” She has, I think, that magnetic quality which is not to be taught in schools.Dr. ALBERT SHAW Editor of The Review of ReviewsI have often thought, since Mrs.BAker gave her marvelous interpretations, that is would be a wonderful education- in standard poetry particularly-to hear her frequently and in a systematic fashion.Mr. LELAND POWERS Boston, Mass.Mrs. Bertha Kunz Baker stands at the very head of her chosen profession. A scholarly mind, a sympathetic heart, a glorious voice and a masterful and exquisite art enable her to interpret grandly the masterpieces of literature. She herself is an inspiration.Prof. STERLING Cincinnati Conservatory of MusicThere comes now and then an event in one’s life that creates an epoch. Such an event is the hearing of Mrs. Baker. And her voice! It is great because being truly natural it is truly artistic.Prof. S.H. CLARK University of ChicagoIt is impossible for me to refrain from sending you a line to express the unbound pleasure your reading of “Armgart” gave me. I freely confess that I never listened to any reading which filled me with such exquisite aesthetic pleasure.Rev. JENKINS LLOYD JONESYou brought careful study to bear upon high subjects, and you believes in our audience. Your triumph in three successive Browning programs may well be termed notable. DEAN GEO. W.KIRCHWEY Columbia UniversityMrs. Baker’s interpretations rise above the level of mere entertainment and have a creative and transforming quality which I do not find in other work of the kind.JUDGE E. B. SHERMAN United States Circuit Court, Chicago I have listened to Murdoch, Scott-Siddons and many others of the best artists, and in my judgment Mrs. Kunz Baker is the peer of the greatest. Her mobility of face and features, her flexibility of utterance and sweetness of tone, her compelling sense of power, purity and tenderness, her consummate skill in ranging the gamut of passion, and yet relieving its stress by delicate humor and softening its fierceness with pathos, her masterful ease and constant charm- all these combine to make her renditions a delight which can never be forgotten. Dramatic Recitals SHAKESPEAREMuch Ado About NothingAs You Like ItThe TempestHUGOLes MiserablesROSTANDCyrano de BergeracL’AigloThe RomancersIBSENPeer GyntAn Enemy of SocietyThe Master BuilderWAGNERParsifalSiegfriedYEATSThe Land of Heart’s DesireCountess CathleenThe Hour GlassHAUPTMANNThe Sunken BellSHAWCaesar and CleopatraMACKAYEJeanne D’ArcThe Cantebury PilgrimsThe Scare CrowMCCARTHYIf I Were KingMoodyPoems and Dramas Lecture Recitals Playground of the Spirit The Hills of JoyThe Peaks of High AdventureThe Vales of PeaceMAETERLINCK Dramas of LifeSTEVENSONThe Gospel of Joyous LivingRUDYARD KIPLINGSinger and SeerROBERT BROWNING Prophet of the Soul Thirty Programs,Singly or in Series The Drama as an Educational Force Development of American Literature Ten Programs, Singly or in Series New Programs in Preparation Open the Window, Light and God Stream In Mrs. Baker is incomparable. Her method is so simple, so without apparent effort that it is difficult to tell how she creates her tremendous effects. No grimaces, no elocutionary agonies. It is the inner nature of her characters that makes them stand out vividly, alive. Now the fairy elf, Rautendelein; now the old witch, Wittiken; now Heinrich, the bell-founder, throbbing with love and longing; each character distinct, individual and in consistent relation to the whole. The work is sustained throughout in an exquisitely ppure and poetic atmosphere. New York CriticOne feels in Mrs.Baker’s interpretation a wealth of experience, a breadth of culture and a thorough knowledge of this splendid humanity of ours- whether it be the seventeenth or twentieth century humanity. Through her marvelous insight into literature and her equally marvelous presentation of it, her great art touches life in a way to make it deeper and sweeter. She makes the reader’s art seem greater than that of the actor’s, for without the help of stage setting her characters materialize before us- they love, hate, rejoice and suffer as we do. There is a perfect balance that one sometimes misses when a drama is presented by a company of actors, however skilled. In addition to being a great artist, Mrs. Baker has such a charming personality that neither the reading nor the reader will be soon forgotten.Journal of Northern Illinois State Normal School.Mrs. Baker came to this city heralded by very flattering advance notices, and it must be said that those usually conventional phrases fell far short of the real genius of the lady. By keen and subtle understanding of every shade of thought and feeling, by artistic and adequate expression through a wonderfully melodious and flexible voice, she kindled the large audience into a glow of pleasurable emotions, and the applause that was showered on her was both sincere and merited. At the request of hundreds who wished to hear Mrs. Baker again, she has consented to repeat the recital. This is a great compliment, never before accorded a woman in New Orleans.New Orleans PicayuneAn event in Chautauqua. Mrs. Baker’s work was superb, her interpretation being pronounced by those who had made special study of the drama as superior in insight and comprehension to that of the actor who has made the stage version famous. Mrs. Baker held an immense audience intensely interested during the entire reading and was enthusiastically recalled again and again at the close.Chautauqua Assembly Herald.Mrs. Bertha Kunz Baker’s rendering of “Cyrano de Bergerac” was beyond question one of the most artistic presentations ever heard in this city. Mrs. Baker is an artist in the fullest and highest sense, who lives the characters she so vividly portrays. As soon as it was learned that Mrs. Baker could spend part of to-morrow in the city, two additional reading were arranged.San Antonio Express. The spacious hall was crowded to its seating capacity, and it was necessary to bring on chairs to accommodate the overflow. The great audience was an enthusiastic one. The splendid success of Mrs. Baker’s recitals will no doubt give a decided impetus to the other entertainment of the Teachers’ Lecture Association course. Montana Daily.
|Title||Mrs. Bertha Kunz Baker|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||Readers|
|Personal Name Subject||Baker, Bertha Kunz|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||5|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|