Finding aid prepared by Megan Mummey
Garner Newton "Al. G. Field Minstrels" Collection
University of Kentucky Special Collections
Collection is arranged by format.
Housed with multiple collections.
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
2012MS023: [identification of item], Garner Newton "Al. G. Field Minstrels" Collection, 1939, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
0.15 Cubic feet
Minstrelsy, the exaggerated theatrical performance through song, dance, and speech of African-American life, was popular form of American entertainment from the 1830s to the 1890s. Often minstrel shows were performed in black face, though following the Civil War, African-American performers became common. Due to the advent of vaudeville, minstrel shows declined in popularity in the early 20th century, but continued to be staged by amateur performers until the 1950s.
The Huntington, West Virginia, police department sponsored the performance of this Al. G. Field minstrel show in 1939 to raise money for the purchase of new radio equipment. Garner Newton, an actor from Lexington, Kentucky, directed the minstrel show.
The Garner Newton "Al G. Field Minstrels" Collection consists of a minstrel show poster from 1939 and associated documents. These include a newspaper clipping about the show; the birth certificate of Garner Newton, Jr.; and an advertisement for Garner Newton's services furnishing costumes and scenery. The poster reads Al. G. Field Greater Minstrels / Gov. Bowen / He was bred in old Kentucky.