Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stowitts as The Satyr

Rare photo of Hubert Stowitts as the nearly nude satyr in Rex Ingram's silent film, The Magician (Metro, 1926). Stowitts was an athlete, dancer and artist whose extraordinary story is told by his biographer, Anne Holliday for Queer Arts Resource.

Anna Pavlova discovered Stowitts dancing at the Greek Theater in Berkeley in the summer of 1915 and invited him to join her ballet company. He became a star in his own right, appearing in London, Stockholm, Madrid and New York. In Paris Stowitts starred in the 1924 Folies-Bergère with dazzling costumes by Erté.

Few dancers have the courage to retire in their prime, especially when "trained down to racehorse shape," as Stowitts described himself. Even fewer have the courage at age 33 to launch themselves in an entirely new career as a painter (his studio was on Montmartre's Avenue de Clichy).

In 1926 Stowitts made his first film, "The Magician", for Metro Studios. With earnings from this venture he was able to underwrite an odyssey to the East where he lived and painted in Indonesia and India.

For more about Stowitts (and there's LOTS more to tell) check out The Stowitts Museum and Library

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