This site is dedicated to unraveling the mystery of a rather remarkable portrait of legendary Broadway superstar Maude Adams, introducing the role of Peter Pan to America on stage at the Empire Theater in 1905.  Who painted it?  Who caused it to be created?  Why?  Where did it hang during the Peter Pan era?  Where did it live in obscurity for the better part of a century?  We’ve uncovered numerous clues and a bevy of both clearly and vaguely connected facts that are spread before us like a particularly enticing jigsaw puzzle.  Each piece we’re able to place correctly serves as a portal to a fascinating array of Gilded Age luminaries.  We mean to spread these facts and characters across the wall and connect them with a crazy macrame web of strings.  We’d like to invite you to spend some time with us to bring the collective knowledge both casual fans and serious scholars of Maude Adams and theater history, J. M. Barrie and Peter Pan, and folks worldwide with an interest in Charles Frohman, John Drew, Ethel Barrymore, Saint-Gaudens and the Cornish Colony, the Lusitania, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the history of the undeniability of desire in late 19th and early 20th century New York to bear upon this glorious quest.

In the pages that follow, we mean to introduce the myriad characters who meet at the crossroads that is this painting.  We will present all the clues we’ve gathered from our initial research in 2005 and those that have come to us recently.  We will add all the fresh facts and well considered theories as we stumble across them.  Please, we encourage you to add your insight, ideas and comments on the Comment section of The Painting page. 
If we miss the obvious, like the giant W in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World, please feel free to karrannnng us with a huge ‘AHA!’  This has been such a delightful journey for us so far, but remember that a truly great toy is merely a relic if the other kids don’t come and play!

Todd B. Kimmell
The Grand Review
Overbrook Farms
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Peter Pan Painting              Peter Pan Painting, back

Please select any of the subjects in the left column, and please feel free to comment in The Painting page.  Explore and enjoy!