We've run that cover of Carole Lombard from the January 1937 issue of Picture Play several times in the past, but never at such a size. But now we can, because nearly five years of that Street & Smith's publication -- from January 1934 to October 1938 -- have been placed online, thanks to New York's Museum of Modern Art, which has made film and its artifacts part of its collection for more than three-quarters of a century. (Much of Picture Play from 1929 to 1933 was previously available online courtesy of MoMA.)
These issues are part of 173 items from MoMA through the Internet Archive; other material unavailable elsewhere includes trade papers, industry publications and, for fans of fan mags, some volumes of Photoplay from the first few years of the 1940s.
We're going to focus on that January 1937 issue, because we can learn a few things relating to Carole -- such as the artist behind that lovely Lombard portrait (Corinne Malvern, a commercial artist better known for her covers of children's books), found on the table of contents page:
Inside, there's a story -- "The Real Low-Down On Lombard," written by Ben Maddox:
In "Carole Lombard: A Bio-Bibliography," author Robert D. Matzen calls the article "an indifferent interview," saying Maddox didn't go beyond a cursory look at Lombard. (And he even gets the high school she attended wrong -- it was Fairfax High School, not Los Angeles High.) While at the time, she wasn't talking to the press about Clark Gable -- given his marital situation, she had to be very careful how she spoke -- Maddox could have explored more about what makes Carole tick...or, should we say, "Carol."
As late as the start of 1937, Picture Play was a holdout -- likely the last one -- about not using an "e" in Lombard's first name, more than six years after she had restored the letter after briefly dropping it as a Pathe player. More on that later.
The MoMA material in the Internet Archive is at http://archive.org/search.php?query=%22nyarc-museumofmodernart%22&page=1.
Our latest LiveJournal header is p1202-40, with Lombard (at about the time she reverted to "Carole" for good) in a matching dress and hat.