Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Musing on the Many Names of Natacha Rambova

Given the name of her mother, Winifred, guaranteed a nickname for the baby christened, Winifred Kimball Shaughnessy. She was called “Wink”. Little “Wink” Kimball Shaughnessy would take the surname of her step-father, Edgar DeWolfe and on the newly recovered Mexicali wedding certificate, she signs as “Winifred DeWolfe”.

                                          Winifred "Wink" Kimball Shaughnessy

When her next step-father Richard Hudnut legally adopted her, she became Winifred Hudnut. Married to Valentino she often went by Valentino although Valentino never legally changed his name and was Guglielmi until his death. Here (below) she signs as, "Natacha Valentino". 

On ship registries (below) Natacha is recorded as Winifred Guglielmi.

Theodore Kosloff would baptize Winifred, “Wink”, DeWolfe as Natacha Rambova... initially as a stage name and he allegedly chose the surname of Rambova after the town in Russia where he was born.

Although she was known forever after as Natacha Rambova, when she married Alvaro de Ursaiz, she was Natacha de Ursaiz. In a letter, (below) to the Bollingen Foundation she explains.

With this marriage annulled, she resumed her Natacha Rambova title. And although Michael Morris dubbed her, “Madam Valentino” those who knew her said she was seldom, if ever referred to as such.

Today I received notice that the documentary on Rambova, which I worked on is being debuted at long last in Spain. The Mallorcan producers will now promote the film and I hope it will soon reach an American audience. I have retweeted the announcement on my @affairvalentino Twitter account. The documentary is well-done... despite being scaled back considerably from the original conception. Nevertheless it is always worth giving the fabulous Natacha Rambova, a.k.a., Winifred, “Wink”, Kimball Shaughnessy, DeWolfe, Hudnut, Valentino, Guglielmi, De Ursaiz... her just due!