Florenz Ziegfeld entered show business promoting the vaudeville strongman Eugene
Sandow. He met his future wife Anna Held in Europe in 1896 and presented her in
several musicals in New York. By 1905 he was producing musical comedies for the
theatrical booking monopoly the Syndicate. In 1907 he launched the Follies (later
renamed the Ziegfeld Follies), a revue with glamorous showgirls and some of the
performers of the day. The Follies featured or made famous Fannie Brice, Bert
Williams, Nora Bayes, Ed Wynn, W. C. Fields, Mary Eaton, Will Rogers, and others.
ran in annual installments until Ziegfeld's death in 1932. Ziegfeld also produced
the revues the Midnight Frolic and Nine O'Clock Revue, as well as numerous musical
comedies, notably Show Boat and Sally. He divorced Held and married Billie Burke,
with whom he had a daughter. After Ziegfeld's death, Burke presented the 1933
1936 editions of the Follies.
The Florenz Ziegfeld Photograph Collection documents the history of the Ziegfeld
Follies and Midnight Frolics, revues and musical comedies through production
photographs and portrait and stage photographs of showgirls and actors. The
collection also includes a small amount of other materials, including
advertisements, playbills, programs, souvenir programs, clippings from newspapers
and magazines, sheet music and some miscellaneous items such as tickets and an
The material is arranged in two series: I. Productions (arranged by type, then
chronologically) and II. Performers (arranged alphabetically). Series II. includes
materials removed from the Theater Biography Collection (known as the "Bio File").