The Roma Brothers: “A Study in Bronze”

"Trio", Walt Kuhn, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Collection
“Trio”, Walt Kuhn, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Collection

The Roma Brothers were an acrobalance act, who seem to have been active at least from 1924 until 1937, when they posed for painter Walt Kuhn for the painting above. They seem to have been most active in the second half of the 1920s — I see references to them having played vaudeville houses in Pittsburgh, Troy, Schenecady, and Salt Lake City during that time. The act was called “A Study in Bronze”. Covered in bronze make-up so as to resemble statues, the brothers went through a series of poses and hand balancing positions which appears to have been novel in the 20s, though its common enough today. (Most of the reviewers remark upon as though they had no seen such a thing before, which leads me to think that they are the originators of the gimmick).

To find out more about the variety arts past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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