Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

High and Low Art

at influential theatre

 

—37-39 Bowery —

 
High and Low Art Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 25, 2016
1. High and Low Art Marker
Inscription.  
On this spot in 1833 stood the Zoological Institute, one of America’s first menageries. Expanding to include equestrian and circus acts, it became the Bowery Amphitheatre. Acts here included the famous clown W.F. Wallett, and “the great Lion Tamer” Issac Van Amburgh, believed to be the first to stick his head into the mouth of a lion.

On February 6, 1842, the Amphitheatre saw the first performance of the Virginia Minstrels, four Northern White men in blackface who created the first group minstrel show. An influential theatrical genre for over 100 years, minstrelsy was a supposed recreation of Southern Black music, dance and joke telling. Though it popularized a harmful parade of racist stereotypes, minstrelsy was nonetheless and institution through which characteristically American forms of music, song and dance emerged.

With the Bowery the mid-1800s cultural center of Kleindeutschland (Little Germany), the theatre changed its name to the Stadt Theatre. From 1854 to the early 1860s, it alternated between English drama and presentations of German classical music and opera. Many German works had their American
High and Low Art marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, November 3, 2018
2. High and Low Art marker site
This poster is the one at screen right.
premieres on the Bowery, including Wagner’s Tannhauser at the Stadt in 1859.

- Lenwood Sloan, Historian/Humanist and Co-author with Mick Moloney, Two Roads Diverged: African and Irish Americans and the Rise of American Popular Culture
 
Erected 2016 by Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
 
Location. 40° 42.907′ N, 73° 59.795′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery near Bayard Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stephen Foster (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bowery Boys (within shouting distance of this marker); Lost New York Gem (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bowery Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington Drank Here! (within shouting distance of this marker); NYC’s Oldest Brick House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birthplace of Modern Tattooing! (about 300 feet away); Renaissance-Inspired Bank for the Working Class (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
Regarding High and Low Art. One of more than 60 markers in the "Windows on the Bowery" series.
 
Categories.
Inset image. Click for full size.
3. Inset
as Zoological Hall
Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
4. Inset
as Stadt Theatre
Inset image. Click for full size.
5. Inset
“The great lion tamer Issac Van Amburgh"
Inset image. Click for full size.
6. Inset
"The famous clown W.F. Wallett"
Inset - The Virginia Minstrels image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 25, 2016
7. Inset - The Virginia Minstrels
Caption: Virginia Minstrels co-founder Dan Emmett wrote “Turkey if the Straw” and “Dixie”, which became the anthem of the Confederacy. He later said, “If I had known to what use they were going to put my song, I will be damned if I’d have written it.”
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 25, 2016
8. Inset
The typical minstrel getup
 
More. Search the internet for High and Low Art.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 5, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 41 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on April 17, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 5, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   7, 8. submitted on December 10, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending Amazon.com advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.