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SOUVENIR FANS

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 Society.


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M.S. Chichibu Maru Fan, 1937

Paper, wood. Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object # 1944.895

M.S. Chichibu Maru Fan, 1937

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.

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Fan Detail


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St. Augustine, Florida Fan, 1889-1898

Paper, wood. Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object # 1944.886

St. Augustine, Florida Fan, 1889-1898

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.

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Fan Detail


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Café des Beaux Arts Fan, 1915-1930

Crepe Paper, wood. Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object # 1944.887

Café des Beaux Arts Fan, 1915-1930

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.

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Fan Detail


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Peacock and Goose Feather Fan, 1900-1930

Manufactured in China. Peacock feathers, goose feathers, paint, wood. Gift of Zona Gale Breese Estate.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object # 1944.883

Peacock and Goose Feather Fan, 1900-1930

Chinese fan makers began making peacock and goose feather fans for export to Europe and the Americas during the first quarter of the 19th 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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