Pupil's Polka


This lithograph from circa 1857 is a sheet music cover for the “Pupil’s Polka,” composed by A. Tatzel and dedicated to the pupils at Hlasko’s Dancing Academy in Philadelphia. The view shows the interior of a room where children attend dance class at the institute operated by Miecislaw Hlasko. A mother introduces her son to the instructor as pairs of children perform different dance steps. Parents watch the children from the dance floor and other chaperones and children sit on a long cushioned bench located on one side of the hall. Two musicians play from a raised platform adorned with a balustrade in the background. Chandeliers and a skylight are seen above the dance floor. Beneath the image, prices are printed: “Colored 4 1/2” and “Plain 3.” The lithograph was produced by the firm Schnabel, Finkeldey & Demme, a partnership between three German-born Philadelphia lithographers: William Demme, John F. Finkeldey, and Edward Schnabel. The firm was active under this name circa 1856–57, and produced a series of prints detailing commercial buildings on Chestnut Street, as well as sheet music covers.

Last updated: January 9, 2018