High School Historic; 50 Years of Seattle Rebellion



As senior catalog writer at JG Autographs, each day includes an interesting mix of research and writing on an assortment of stars and figures, spanning history in a variety of fields.  While some of these individuals are among the world’s most famous and others are completely unfamiliar, there are occasional names that are recognizable even though their actual story may be unknown to many including myself.  The most recent of these cases arose with an autographed photograph and letter from the classic 1930s and 1940s film actress Frances Farmer, the first JG has ever offered.


As a teenager in the 1990s, and a fan of Nirvana, the first, and only time, I heard the name was in the title of the bands song “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle,”  from their 1993 album “In Utero.”  I never really thought much about it, I just knew and remembered the track. Now, years later, after doing research for our newly offered lot, her association with the Seattle based band and singer Kurt Cobain is much less surprising.


Frances Farmer burst on to the Hollywood scene in the 1930s with great acclaim yet never seemed particularly comfortable with the attention. Farmer’s beliefs on the entertainment industry and the world in general were considered strange and unacceptable, simply because they were not in line with expected views of the day, especially coming from a woman. Her misunderstanding went so far as being involuntary hospitalized at Western State Hospital in Steilacoom, WA were she was allegedly abused and tortured to the point of a lobotomy to ‘cure’ her of her rebellious and anti-establishment thoughts. She died anonymous and penniless in 1970.

Actress Frances Farmer Being Arrested

Over 50 years later, Nirvana’s legendary front man Kurt Cobain infamously faced a similar internal struggle, dealing with a sudden place in the spotlight, which he had apparently no desire for. No wonder the troubled musician harkened back to another Seattle native who first fought the conformities of the entertainment business and American opinion in general.


Here’s to you Mr. Cobain, and to Mrs. Farmer before you.

– Chris ‘Brezy’ Bresnahan

Please click the link below to view this amazing lot and have a chance to add it to your own collection, Nirvana based or otherwise…

Francis Farmer American Actress Autographed 8×10 Photograph | Typed Letter Signed


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