Texas Guinan: Rose Rolando
When artist Wynn Holcomb sketched the interior of the TEXAS GUINAN CLUB in 1927, he positioned the speakeasy queen's favorites close to her central figure.
• • This detail shows the Broadway dancer-choreographer ROSE ROLANDO, a vivacious beauty whose performances onstage would send theatre critics into fits of ecstatic adjectives.
• • Born in Los Angeles as Rosemond Cowan, Rose's dancing feet led her into Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers popular musical "Garrick's Gaieties" — — which ran for 212 performances. Rose Rolando opened Act II with a number called "Rancho Mexicana." Perhaps that was Rose's way of flirting with the Mexican set designer, artist Miguel Covarrubias [1904-1957].
• • Drawn into the theatre circle by his relationship with this dark-eyed dancer, Covarrubias pursued celebrity caricature. The New Yorker asked him to sketch MAE WEST. His drawing of "Diamond Lil" (now in the Smithsonian) appeared in their 5 May 1928 issue.
• • Rose Rolando was photographed by Edward Weston, Max Eastman, and Man Ray. Diego Rivera and Miguel Covarrubias were two of many artists who painted her.
• • After years of living together in Greenwich Village, the pair married in 1930.
• • The couple collaborated on several books, documenting their travels to Bali and elsewhere.
• • Covarrubias, an illustrated volume about their fascinating life — — and their notable friendships — — was published in 1994 by the University of Texas Press. After leaving the Rialto behind, Rose became an accomplished photographer, writer, and artist.
• • photo: Texas Guinan's friend • • Rose Rolando • • 1920s • •