Donna Darling Collection – Part 38

Treasure Chest Thursday
Family Photos (1370)

By Don Taylor

Three photos of Donna

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Scrapbook. The page had five items pasted onto it.

Preparing to Dive

Donna Montran Preparing to Dive.

When she was young, Donna was an incredible beauty. She won the beauty contest at Madison Square Garden several years before Miss America began there.[i] She was also one of the Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties. I believe this first photo probably comes from either of those periods. Certainly, the photo shows how beautiful she was. The original of this photo was a cut-out of a photo. It was torn at the top. I clipped the photo, touched it up, and pasted it onto a new background.[ii]

Donna with a Parasol

Donna with a Parasol

Donna loved to dress and look pretty. In this photo, Donna is wearing what appears to be one of her many bathing suits and she carrying a parasol. It is probably from 1920 or 1921 when she was staring in “California Bathing Girls.” It is possibly from 1924-25 when she headlined the “Motion Picture Bathing Beauties” show. This photo appears to be a promotional photo and the mark at the bottom left indicates “This Week” which was a magazine at the time. I would love to review an archive of “This Week” magazines from 1920-1925, to see if there might be a better quality photo of Donna there.

Donna

Another photo of Donna on the scrapbook page showed Donna apparently with someone. However, the photo of Donna with the parasol was pasted over half of the photo. In this photo she appears to be a bit older and the photo is clearly not a promotional in nature.

Other Images

Finally, there is a photo of a marquee with Andrew Mack at the top and Donna Montran and her Bathing Girls are listed below.  I’m still not sure where that comes from.  Hopefully, I’ll figure it out as I continue my research on the Donna Darling Collection. I have not seen Andrew Mack in any of the playbills for Donna during her Bathing Girls days.[iii]

Future Actions

  • Find a source for “This Week” magazine for between 1920 and 1925 and review them for possible photos of Donna.
  • Determine the date and place of the Andrew Mack, Donna Montran marquee photo.

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – Scan 1370.

Endnotes

[i] My feeling is that Donna was “Miss America” 3 years before the first “Miss America” pageant.

[ii] To save space, the Donna Montran “Preparing to Dive” image presented here is a 150 dpi image. I have a 600 dpi image available.

[iii] I have a copy of the original scrapbook page showing the Marquee at 600 dpi, but I hope to include the image when I determine the place and date of the engagement.