[Albino Violinist] Currier & Ives

"The Wonderful Albino Family."

Original 10" x 11.4" vintage lithograph. Credit to Currier & Ives at lower left and titled in the margin, The Wonderful Albino Family / Rudolph Lucasie, Wife & Children, from Madagascar / They have Pure White, Silken Hair and Pink Eyes!! / Have Been Exhibited at Barnum's Museum, N.Y. for Three Years.  A rather toned and worn example with tears and losses around the edges, a few extending just inside the central illustrated panel, but nevertheless quite striking.  

The Albino Lucasie family were European (the name is French), but P.T. Barnum, who discovered them at the 1857 Amsterdam fair, gave out that they were “Negroes from Madagascar” and claimed that their pink eyes remained staring even as they slept. He brought them to New York to work at his American Museum that same year. Currier and Ives did another portrait of them also, “The Wonderful Eliophobus Family,” a whimsical name meaning “fear of the sun”.  In addition to Barnum’s shows, the Lucasies also performed with W. W. Coles and the Lemon Bros., for a total of 40 years. When Antoinette died, Rudolph continued performing in vaudeville as an albino violinist. He died in Kansas City in 1909. (21585)

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