Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Provocative Miss Rains

Born in Crockett, Texas in 1891,
Miss Della Rains
caught the attention
of Chicago newpapers in 1915
when she was working as an artist model
at the School of the Art Institute.

A Southern Lady of principle,
she proudly refused to drop her robe
in the presence of art students of color.

She also made headlines,
when her friends at the Palette and Chisel
helped her dump
a hapless suitor from Iowa.

"While Miss Della Rains (of Dallas, Texas, Suh) can tell you the difference between a palette, a chisel, a painter, and sculptor,she lays little claim to distinction as an artist except, well, except that she can and does "draw" the color line.

The model from the Lone Star State, you may remember, created a furor at the Art Institute of Chicago by refusing to pose before colored artists. A defiant toss of the head, a few pointed remarks about northern chivalry and the emancipation proclamation - and Miss Rains made her exit.

She didn't return to the Art Institute. She didn't need to - for she had sprung into fame overnight. Artists who had never heard of Miss Rains expressed a desire to meet her. Surely, they reasoned, a girl who could toss away a meal ticket with reckless abandon, even though prompted by the spirited pride of the South, must have a pretty fair opinion of her face and figure to command exclusive modeling.

They judge for themselves.

Letters, telegrams, phone calls. Miss Rains came. They saw. She Conquered. Today she is the uncrowned queen of Chicago's art colony, and exercising a royal prerogative, may look forward to the annexation of other realms in Land of Bohemia. New York artists have heard of her, and , 'tis said, are ready to hoist the white flag of surrender to a rare combination of grace, beauty, and girlish charm.

Among Miss Rains admirers was a wealthy Iowa farmer who wooed her away from the domain of the Palette and Chisel, but "Bohemia" would have none of this romance"

The rest of the farce can be read here,
the primary actors being
R.V. Brown (president of the P&C in 1915)
and John Phillips (president in 1916)

BTW -- Miss Rains continued to build
on her remarkable reputation.

She was the mistress of George Amos Dorsey,
professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago
(author of "Why we behave like human beings")

And she was the sister of Mrs. R.M. Granger
who was arrested in a hotel room
with William Isaac Thomas,
professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago,
(author of "Sex and Society")


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