Born on 12 January 1884 in Waco, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan played a gun-slinger and rode bareback in silent films, took New York by storm in 1906, and earned a salary of $700,000 as a speakeasy hostess. Here are highlights from a life led at full speed until 5 November 1933. Meet TEXAS GUINAN!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

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.

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• • photo: Texas Guinan's friend • • Rose Rolando • • 1920s • •

Texas Guinan.

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