University of Texas at Austin

The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia, 1920-1925

Identified individuals are represented by a biographical sketch, a list of connections to other signatures, and, in most cases, an artifact from the Ransom Centers collections. Help us identify more signatures by submitting your suggested identification.


Franklin Abbott

Achmed Abdullah

Mary Aldis

George William Amis

Sherwood Anderson

Egmont Arens

Mary Austin

Eugene S. Bagger


Winslow M. Bell

William Rose Benét

Florence Blackstone

Paul J. Blackstone

David William Bone

Albert Boni

Charles Boni

Ernest Augustus Boyd

Will Bradley

Berton Braley

Max M. Breslow

Heywood Broun

Albert Brush

Arthur Caesar

Henry Seidel Canby

Jonathan Cape

Gene Carr

Oscar Edward Cesare

Christine Challenger

Betty Ross Clarke

Helen Louise Cohen

Alta May Coleman

Seward Collins

Frank Conroy

George Cram Cook

John Cournos

Bosworth Crocker

J. Vincent Crowne

Homer Croy

Mary Carolyn Davies

Helena Smith Dayton

Fred Erving Dayton

Floyd Dell

S. A. DeWitt

Roy Dickinson

Charles Divine

Alice Willits Donaldson

John Dos Passos

Theodore Dreiser

Joseph Drum

Robert L. Eaton

Laurie York Erskine

Wilfred Ewart

Henry Guy Fangel

John Chipman Farrar

Hugh Ferriss

Arthur Davison Ficke

John Bernard Flannagan

Dwight Franklin

James Earle Fraser

Joseph Lewis French

Robert Frothingham

Barney Gallant

Porter Garnett

Susan Glaspell

Montague Glass

Joseph Gollomb

Herbert S. Gorman

Stephen Graham

Dorothy L. A. Grant

Harry Wagstaff Gribble

William Gropper

Louise Closser Hale

Harry Hansen

Sadakichi Hartmann

Josephine Herbst

John Herrmann

W. E. Hill

Elisabeth Sanxay Holding

Robert Cortes Holliday

Terence Holliday

Guy Holt

Holland Hudson

Peter Lord Templeton Hunt

Frank Townsend Hutchens

Lewis Jackson

Norman Jacobsen

Rutger Bleecker Jewett

Orrick Johns

Merle De Vore Johnson

Jeanne Judson

Harry Kemp

Bernice Lesbia Kenyon

John G. Kidd

William A. (William Albion) Kittredge

Eastwood Lane

Lawrence Langner

Christian Leden

Courtenay Lemon

Sinclair Lewis

Ludwig Lewisohn

Max Liebermann

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay

Preston Lockwood

Hendrick Willem Van Loon

Lingard Loud

Pierre Loving

Orson Lowell

C. R. Macauley

Kenneth Macgowan

Lawton Mackall

Hector MacQuarrie

John Albert Macy

Jane Mander

Don Marquis

H. A. Mathes

William McFee

Alexander McKay

Hawley McLanahan

Charles M. McLean

Ada Jaffray McVickar

Scudder Middleton

George Middleton

John Mistletoe

Roy Mitchell

Christopher Morley

Robert Nathan

Dudley Nichols

Robert Nichols

Charles Norman

Joseph Jefferson O'Neil

Florence O'Neill

Ivan Opffer

Martha Ostenso

Lou Paley

Edmund Lester Pearson

Basil H. Pillard

Ethel McClellan Plummer

Alexander Popini

William MacLeod Raine

Ben Ray Redman

Charles J. Reed

Lola Ridge

Felix Riesenberg

W. Adolphe Roberts

Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin (Ted) Meade Robinson

Bruce Rogers

L. Stuart Rose

Herb Roth

Edward Royce

Tony Sarg

Jacob Salwyn Schapiro

Walter Schnackenberg

Thomas Seltzer

Fern Forrester Shay

Margaret Badollet Caldwell Shotwell

Emil Siebern

Upton Sinclair

John Sloan

Thorne Smith

David Tosh Smith

Robert A. Smith

Charles Somerville

Vincent Starrett

Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Donald Ogden Stewart

Gordon Stiles

Emily Strunsky

Genevieve Taggard

Gardner Teall

Sara Teasdale

Lloyd M. Thomas

Basil Thompson

Paul Thompson

Helen Thurlow

Adolph Treidler

Peter Underhill

Harvey P. Vaughn

Walter Vodges

C. A. Voight

Mary Heaton Vorse

Webb Waldron

J. Leeming Walker

Foster Ware

John V. A. Weaver

Luther E. Widen

Edward Arthur Wilson

Lily Winner

Robert L. Wolf

Cuthbert Wright


Theodore F. Zucker


Location on door: front, panel 3

Actors on the Stage




Fern Forrester (d.1934) was a Philadelphia-born artist and the first wife of the bookshop's founder, Frank Shay. From the early 1910s, she worked as a fashion artist, drawing stylized renderings of the latest designs for women, and at some point, shared a studio with fellow fashion artist Helen Thurlow. Fern and Frank Shay were married on January 2, 1918, and Frank soon shipped off to France as a Private in the 312th Infantry of the 78th Division of the U.S. Army. After his return in 1919, they lived in New York and moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1923, where Frank helped found the Wharf Players. Frank, Harry Kemp, and several other members split from the Wharf group and founded the Barnstormers theater group in 1924; they held performances in the Shays' barn and Fern performed in at least one of their productions. The Shays had one daughter, Jean, in 1924 or 1925, and divorced in the late 1920s. Fern continued to produce artwork for magazines until her death in 1934. Jean, known as "Snookie" to her family, had no children, so there are no living descendents of the Shay family.

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    Creator: Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950

    Shay, Fern Forrester (Illustrator)

    Title: The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver

    Imprint: New York: Frank Shay, 1922

    Item Date: 1922

    Material Type: Monographs

    ADA Caption: The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver

    Curatorial Department: Book Collection

    Collection Name: Rare Books Collection

    Stack Location: PS 3525 I495 B3 1922

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Edna St. Vincent Millay's The Ballad of the Harp-weaver (New York: Frank Shay, 1922), illustrated by Fern Forrester Shay. One of fifteen copies bound in red paper.

Shay's illustrations capture the strange mixture of innocence and eroticism in Millay's ballad, the third Millay volume to be published from the bookshop at 4 Christopher Street: Frank Shay published her landmark verse volume A Few Figs from Thistles in 1920 and the play The Lamp and the Bell in 1921. In 1923, Millay's collection The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver and Other Poems, published by Harper, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. The bright red cover of this copy of The Ballad of the Harp Weaver is a rarity. Millay bibliographer Karl Yost notes that for the total edition of five hundred copies, Shay bound a handful of copies in "red, dark green, apple green, yellow, and blue, and all the other copies were bound in orange." He did this in order to create striking multi-colored window displays in his shop. The Ransom Center holds orange, red, and green copies.