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Zona Gale Breese's Souvenir Fans

Zona Gale (1874-1938) of Portage, Wisconsin became nationally renowned when she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921 for her play, Miss Lulu Bett. She was a world traveler and a souvenir collector. Shortly after her death in 1938, Zona's husband, William L. Breese, donated 18 of her souvenir fans to the Wisconsin Historical Museum.

M.S. Chichibu Maru Fan
1937
Paper, wood
Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate (1944.895)

In the spring of 1937 Zona Gale Breese traveled to Japan aboard the ocean liner M.S. Chichibu Maru. This fan features the ship's dinner menu for May 3, 1937.

   
M.S. Chichibu Maru Fan - detail
   
St. Augustine, Florida Fan
1889-1898
Paper, wood
Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate (1944.886)

This fan illustrates the hotels, historic sites, flora, and wildlife of St. Augustine, Florida. Fans provided a practical souvenir for people vacationing at tourist destinations in hot climates.

   
St. Augustine, Florida Fan - detail
   
Café des Beaux Arts Fan
1915-1930
Crepe paper, wood
Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate (1944.887)

The Café des Beaux Arts was located at Sixth Avenue and 40th Street in New York City. Zona Gale may have acquired this souvenir fan when her play Miss Lulu Bett was appearing on Broadway.

   
Café des Beaux Arts Fan - detail
   
Peacock and Goose Feather Fan
1900-1930
Manufacturer: China
Peacock feathers, goose feathers, paint, wood
Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate (1944.883)

Chinese fan makers began making peacock and goose feather fans for export to Europe and the Americas during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Though some were plain, many were painted with gouache in a naïve style and gaudy colors that were meant to appeal to the Western market. This fan is unusual since people rarely were depicted on these fans.

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