Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Treasures from the Collection

Painted Silk Fan
Manufacturer: Duvelleroy, Paris
Silk, mother-of-pearl, paint, sequins
Gift of Lorraine Goodrich MacDermott (1956.1196)

A granddaughter of brewery founder Frederick Pabst, Lorraine MacDermott (1893-1977) used this exquisite fan while she lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She may have bought it from a Chicago shop selling Duvelleroy fans. The firm of Duvelleroy, known for its exceptional fan painting, had begun making fans in 1827, and by the late nineteenth century had an extensive international export business in North and South America.

Many Duvelleroy fans echoed those made in the eighteenth century, when love and lovers were popular themes for fans. Lorraine's fan depicts lovers looking at a statue of the Greek love goddess, Aphrodite. The love theme is reinforced with Cupid's quiver of arrows shown on either side, with one arrow placed strategically in the bull's eye.


Painted Silk Fan Box - detail

Painted Silk Fan - detail

Painted Silk Fan - detail

Decoupage Stick Fan
Cardstock, brass, wood
Gift of Walter L. Haight (1956.1009)

The confidant surfer depicted on this broad leaf-shaped fan indicates this fan was probably made near the Pacific Ocean. After almost disappearing, surfing experienced a revival during the first years of the twentieth century. Hawaiians in the Waikiki area were the first to take up the surfboard again. At the time, Waikiki was becoming an important tourist destination, and surfing came to California in 1907. Though we do not know the history of this fan, it may have been a Hawaiian or Californian tourist souvenir. Donor Walter Haight did not visit these locations, but his in-laws, James L. and Elizabeth V. Foley of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, traveled extensively around the United States. They may have visited Hawaii or California and brought back the fan as a souvenir for their daughter and son-in-law.


Embroidered Silk Fan and Box
c. 1900
Manufacturer: China
Silk, ivory
Gift of Frederica McBain Zdanowicz (1975.174.4,a)

Frederica Zdanowicz (1902-1992) of Madison, Wisconsin received this fan as a gift from friends who had purchased it at an antique store in Spain. The fan appears to have been made in China for export to Spain.


Embroidered Silk Fan - detail

Embroidered Silk Fan - detail

Embroidered Silk Fan Box - detail

Embroidered Silk Fan Box - detail

Lithographed Fan
Manufacturer: France
Paper, ivory
Gift of Frederica McBain Zdanowicz (1975.174.2)

University of Wisconsin professor Casimir D. Zdanowicz (1883-1953) probably purchased this fan at an antique store in Paris in 1907. It represents the most popular form of fan from the mid-nineteenth century, with its elaborate, gilded ivory sticks and lithographed and hand-watercolored images of people from the eighteenth century. Like some of the best fans from this time period, it was decorated on both sides.


Lithographed Fan - reverse

Lithographed Fan - detail

Painted Celluloid Brisé Fan
c. 1890
Celluloid, ribbon, paint
Gift of Mary J. and Charles Kendall Adams (1945.773)

Mary J. (Matthews) Smith Barnes (1840-1902) purchased this fan in Europe, perhaps at the time of her July 9, 1890 wedding to third husband, Cornell University president Charles Kendall Adams, in London, England. Two years later Charles Kendall Adams became president of the University of Wisconsin.


Painted Celluloid Brisé Fan - detail

Punched Paper and Feather Fan with Mirror
Paper, ivory, feathers, glass
Gift of Mrs. F.A. Kartak (1945.658)

This fan was brought from Paris, France to Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1863. The reason for the embossed golden wheat image is not known, but historically the wheat motif symbolized the "golden wealth" provided by Mother Earth. The fan's mirror made it possible for its owner to see discretely who was behind her.


Painted Black Feather Fan
Goose feathers, wood, paint
Gift of Jessie Knapp (1945.646)

This fan probably belonged to Jessie (Thomas) Knapp (b. 1855) of Menomonie, Wisconsin.


Painted Black Feather Fan- detail

  • Questions about this page? Email us
  • Email this page to a friend
select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text