A. J. WARNER COLLECTION

SC 1996.22

Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections
Sibley Music Library

prepared by Ronald J Morgan
Summer 1996

 

CONTENTS

 

 

DESCRIPTION OF COLLECTION

A. J. Warner Collection (1888 – 1971, bulk 1888 – 1937)
Location: M1B 5,2 – M1B 5,5
60 linear inches

 

Biographical Sketch

Andrew Jackson (Jack) Warner (1884-1965) was the music and drama critic for the Rochester Times-Union from 1918 to 1961 after beginning his career with the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and the Evening Times. In addition to his writings on music and drama, Mr. Warner wrote a column in the Times-Union that was preoccupied with European affairs. In 1932 he interviewed Benito Mussolini and had an audience with Pope Pius XI. A.J. Warner was also sent to Europe by George Eastman to find a conductor for the Eastman Theater Orchestra where he engaged Eugene Goosens. Mr. Warner traveled widely and was a good friend of the Duke of Duchess of Windsor in the 1920s.

Mr. Warner’s father, J. Foster Warner, was born in Rochester and worked as a successful architect in the city. His grandfather was the owner of the Lyceum Theater, a major playhouse in Rochester at the turn of the century. In addition to his father, A.J. Warner’s mother Mary L. Adams and his brother John Adams (J.A.) Warner were musicians. His brother gained some press as an organist and pianist. The Warner’s lived in Rochester at 5 Prince Street.

The following excerpt from a letter to the Times-Union (in this Collection) is presented here as evidence of the appreciation of A.J. Warner by a Times-Union reader:

(To the) Editor, Times-Union:
     The musical education of Rochester is making wonderful progress, and an essential part of that musical education lies in the excellent work of Mr. Andrew J. Warner, whose articles appear in your paper. After a concert, it is to his column that our family turns first when we receive your paper. Rochester is fortunate to have and enjoy the services of so able a reviewer. ….. I have never found a musical critic so eminently fair and just in his point of view, so observing of the little touches that the untrained observer may miss, so single-minded in his endeavor to enable us all to see, understand, and appreciate just what the artists are trying to do for us.
     Merely as literature, Mr. Warner’s articles are interesting and eminently worth reading. The reviews which he wrote of the work of Mr. Goossens were illuminating in a high degree and written with rare charm. I regret that I did not preserve them, and I hope that the Sibley Music Library has kept them as of historic as well as of musical interest. ……..

Ernest R. Clark

 

 

Provenance

The materials in this Collection were gathered by A. J. Warner, and were transferred from his estate after his death to the Sibley Music Library.

 

Scope and Content

The Collection includes scrapbooks and papers of A.J. Warner (1884-1965), Rochester Times-Union theater and music critic and journalist from 1918 to 1961. The Collection includes personal scrapbooks of A.J. Warner with clippings from 1923 to 1938 of his Rochester theater and music reviews, and from his “At Random” column on European cultural and political affairs. A significant group of scrapbooks contain programs and reviews (not by A.J. Warner) of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., from theaters in New York City and Rochester around the turn of the century. The Collection also contains a group of loose programs from mostly Rochester and New York City spanning 1911 to 1971. A significant amount of programs are from the Lyceum Theatre in Rochester, owned by A.J. Warner’s grandfather, from the turn of the century.

The Collection holds some of A.J. Warner’s personal correspondence from 1933 to 1935, including letters from his friend Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor. There is also a scrapbook of family performances from the turn of the century, and a scrapbook owned by his brother and organist/pianist John Adams Warner. A group of his brother’s manuscripts are also included, comprising mostly of his composition of a musical comedy called “Betsy Abroad” from circa 1911.

The A.J. Warner Collection would be useful in relation to the following topics (non- comprehensive): the life of Times-Union critic A.J. Warner, the history of music and/or drama in Rochester and/or New York, music/dramatic criticism in Rochester and/or New York , American perspective on European affairs in the 1930s, playhouse/music theaters in Rochester and/or New York.

 

Restrictions and Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this Collection.

 

Associations

The Eastman Theatre Scrapbooks may be of interest in relationship to this Collection.

 

 

DESCRIPTION OF SERIES

 

Series 1: Scrapbooks of A.J. Warner

Subseries A: Personal Scrapbooks of his reviews/articles
Personal scrapbooks of A.J. Warner from 1919 to 1938. Scrapbooks 1 through 3 contain clippings of reviews from other New York and Boston critics. Scrapbooks 4 through 12 contain clippings of reviews/columns by A.J. Warner from the Rochester Times-Union. His clippings include theater and music reviews and articles, and his “With a Wayfarer Abroad” and “At Random” columns that dealt mostly with European cultural/political affairs.

Subseries B: “Play Record” Scrapbooks
Scrapbooks with programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews and annotated notes on the performances (mostly New York) from 1897 to 1903. The early dates suggest that these scrapbooks originally belonged to someone other than A.J. Warner, and that they later came into his possession. Similar format and handwriting suggests a relationship to the scrapbooks in Series 1, Sub-Series C.

Sub-Series C: Miscellaneous Program/Review Scrapbooks
Scrapbooks with programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews (mostly from the Lyceum Theatre in Rochester) from c. 1890 to 1902. Scrapbook 2 contains a letter to a G.F. Warren, dramatic editor of the Democrat and Chronicle, suggesting the possibility that these scrapbooks originated with him, and only later came into the possession of A.J. Warner. It could have also been compiled by his grandfather who owned the Lyceum Theatre. Scrapbook 1 has performance programs only, and the location of many of the performances is not indicated.

Sub-Series D: “Esther Everest” Scrapbooks
Scrapbooks with programs of plays, comedies, opera, and vaudeville at various theaters in Rochester from c. 1888 to 1896. Scrapbook 2 contains programs from Riverside, California, and the World Fair in Chicago (1893). The name “Esther Everest” is written in the front cover of these scrapbooks, suggesting the original owner before the books came into the possession of A.J. Warner.

 

Series 2: Personal Materials (A.J. Warner and family)

Sub-Series A: Personal letters and Miscellaneous
One Box that includes personal letters of A.J. Warner from 1933 to 1935, including letters from his friend Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor), as well as miscellaneous clippings and other ephemera. An envelope with photocopies of A.J. Warner’s obituary in the Times-Union and Democrat & Chronicle has been added to the Collection here.

Sub-Series B: Scrapbook of family performances
A scrapbook of programs of plays, vaudeville, etc., at Rochester theaters (mostly the Lyceum) from 1900 to 1903. Notes on each performance indicate that members of the Warner family participated in providing the musical accompaniment for the performances. One indication names “Jack” as the accompanist (commonly used for A.J. — Andrew Jackson — Warner.) This suggests that the scrapbook was owned by his brother John.

Sub-Series C: Scrapbook of A.J. Warner’s brother John Adams (J.A.) Warner
A scrapbook of programs of John Warner’s organ/piano recitals and reviews/ advertisements, programs from various concerts with ticket stubs, and invitations to various events from c. 1903 to 1913. Mostly from Rochester and Cambridge.

Sub-Series D: Manuscripts of A.J. Warner’s brother John Adams (J.A.) Warner
Manuscripts of compositions by John Adams Warner and transcriptions of works by other composers. Mostly John Warner’s musical comedy “Betsy Abroad” (c. 1911).

 

Series 3: Theatre Programs (loose)

Programs of plays, pictures, vaudeville, comedies, music, and dance from Rochester theaters (1911 to 1971), New York theaters (1912 to 1934), and several from theaters in other cities.

 

Series 4: Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous ephemera.

 

 

INVENTORY

Series 1: Scrapbooks of A.J. Warner

Subseries A: Personal Scrapbooks of his reviews/articles

Box 1

Scrapbook 1 1919 – 1922 Clippings: Music reviews from various New York Papers and critics (none by A.J. Warner). Indexed. Front cover is missing.
Scrapbook 2 1922 Clippings: Music reviews from various New York Papers and critics (none by A.J. Warner).
Scrapbook 3 1923 (A) Clippings: Music reviews from various New York and Boston Papers and critics (none by A.J. Warner)

Box 2

Scrapbook 4 1923 (B) Clippings: Music, theater, dance reviews and articles by A.J. Warner (Rochester Times-Union).
Scrapbook 5 1928 Clippings: Music, theater, dance reviews and articles by A.J. Warner (Rochester Times-Union), including writings about his European voyage in the column “With a Wayfarer Abroad”.
Scrapbook 6 1932 Clippings: A.J. Warner as Times-Union correspondent in Europe. Clippings from his “At Random” column dealing mostly with European political affairs. Press concerning A.J. Warner’s interview with Mussolini and Pope Pius XI.

Box 3

Scrapbook 7 1932 – 1934 Clippings: Music, theater, dance reviews and articles by A.J. Warner (Rochester Times-Union) including his “At Random” column dealing mostly with European political affairs.
Scrapbook 8 1933 Clippings: Mostly A.J. Warner’s column “At Random”.
Scrapbook 9 1933-34 Clippings: Mostly A.J. Warner’s column “At Random”.

Box 4

Scrapbook 10 1934-35 Clippings: Music, theater, dance reviews and articles by A.J. Warner (Rochester Times-Union) including his “At Random” column focusing on England. Includes Warner’s article “Leafs from Rochester Music History – Before the Eastman School and Since”.
Scrapbook 11 1936-37 Clippings: mostly Wallis Simpson/King Edward crisis. A.J. Warner’s “At Random” column.
Scrapbook 12 1938 Clippings: Music (mostly) reviews by A.J. Warner. “At Random column now dealing mostly with music issues. Includes clippings on a performance by his brother John Adams Warner.

Sub-Series B: “Play Record” Scrapbooks

Box 5

Scrapbook 1 1897 – 1898 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews and annotated notes on the performances (mostly New York). Includes a copy of the Rochester Times-Union of May 11, 1872.
Scrapbook 2 1898 – 1899 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews and annotated notes on the performances (mostly New York).
Scrapbook 3 1899 – 1900 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews and annotated notes on the performances (mostly New York). Includes a copy of “Saturday Night” (newspaper of fiction) of July 27, 1872.

Box 6

Scrapbook 4 1900 – 1901 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews and annotated notes on the performances (mostly New York).
Scrapbook 5 1901 – 1902 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews and annotated notes on the performances (mostly New York).

Box 7

Scrapbook 6 1902 – 1903 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews and annotated notes on the performances (mostly New York).

Sub-Series C: Miscellaneous Program/Review Scrapbooks

Box 8

Scrapbook 1 1890 – 1895 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., (no associated clippings of reviews.) Many programs are missing an indication of the theater. The locations of the theaters are unknown.

Box 9

Scrapbook 2 c. 1896 – 1898 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews (mostly at the Lyceum Theatre in Rochester). Includes at letter to G.F. Warren, dramatic editor of the Democrat and Chronicle.
Scrapbook 3 1900 – 1902 Programs of plays, melo-dramas, comic operas, etc., with clippings of associated reviews (mostly at the Lyceum Theatre in Rochester). Includes the opening program of the National Theatre in Rochester (1902).

Sub-Series D: “Esther Everest” Scrapbooks

Box 10

Scrapbook 1 c.1888 – 1889 Programs: plays, comedies, opera, vaudeville at various Rochester theaters.

Box 11

Scrapbook 2 c.1890 – 1896 Programs: plays, comedies, opera comique, vaudeville at theaters in Rochester, Riverside (California), and Chicago (World Fair, 1893).

Series 2: Personal Materials (A.J. Warner and family)

Sub-Series A: Personal letters and Miscellaneous

Box 12 & 13 1933 – 1935 Personal letters of A.J. Warner, miscellaneous clippings, and other ephemera including his obituary (added). Includes letters from Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor), Lord and Lady Rommily, Lord Sackville, and Lady Sackville.

Sub-Series B: Scrapbook of family performances

Box 14

Scrapbook 1 1900 – 1903 Programs: plays, vaudeville, etc., at Rochester theaters (mostly the Lyceum). Notes indicating that family members provided the accompaniment for the performances. One indication names “Jack” as the accompanist (commonly used for A.J. – Andrew Jackson Warner.) This suggests that the scrapbook was more probably owned by his brother John.

Sub-Series C: Scrapbook of A.J. Warner’s brother John Adams (J.A.) Warner

Box 15

Scrapbook 1 c. 1903 – 1913 Programs of John Warner’s organ/piano recitals and reviews/advertisements, programs from various concerts with ticket stubs, and invitations to various events. Mostly Rochester and Cambridge.

Sub-Series D: Manuscripts of A.J. Warner’s brother John Adams (J.A.) Warner

Box 16 c.1911 Manuscripts of compositions by John Adams Warner and transcriptions of works by other composers. Mostly John Warner’s musical comedy “Betsy Abroad” (c.1911).

Series 3: Theatre Programs (loose)

Box 17

Envelope 1 1911 – 1971 Programs: Rochester theaters (Rochester Theatre, Baker Theatre, Masonic Temple Auditorium, Auditorium Theatre, Sam S. Soubrette Theatre). Includes plays, pictures, vaudeville, comedies, music, and dance.
Envelope 2 1912 – 1934 Programs: New York theaters (Century, Belmont, Little, Lyric, Manhattan Opera House, Music Box, Hudson, New Amsterdam, New York Hippodrome, Playhouse, Republic, Royale, Selwyn, Shubert, Martin Beck, Children’s Theatre, Cohan’s, Alvin, Eltinge, Frolic, Gallo, Sam H. Harris, Jolson’s, Knickerbocker, Liberty, St. James.)
Envelope 3 c. 1917, 1943 Programs: Out-of-town theaters. (Washington, Atlantic City, New London Conn.).
Box 18 c. 1910 – 1930 Programs: Rochester Lyceum Theater. Plays, comedies, vaudeville, etc.

Series 4: Miscellaneous

Box 19

Photo of Pasquale Aurala (Boston, 1916). A.J. Warner’s highschool Physics notes.