When I first saw this ad I hoped that it would match a photo that has always intrigued me. It isn’t an exact match, but I think it still answers my basic question about the photo. I’d always wondered why these women were dressed up as “displays” for local businesses. While the photo and ad don’t seem to match chronologically, it does seem reasonable that this might have been an annual event. I don’t think the photo matches the year of the ad because of the way the women are dressed and because R. T. Lynch, listed on one sign, died in 1903. I can’t imagine his barber shop retaining his name through 1916, but I could be wrong.
BTW, a “burnt cork artist” was a blackface minstrel performer. They burned cork and used it as makeup.