[Photo Album]: The Female Figure


Price: $4,800.00

Softcover. Quarto. 40pp. Stringbound textured paper wrappers. Moderate wear to the extremities with some waviness to the pages and some photos lifting at the corners but all still firmly secured, very good. This portfolio was sold to subscribers by Allen from his Arthur Allen Studios during the Teens and Twenties and contains more than 40 pages of original nude photographic prints pasted onto stiff pages. Each sheet has between two to four different images; many showing four separate poses of the same model. The final three pages include 22 additional nudes tipped in after publication, some photos and some from postcards, possibly issued blank for the buyer to customize. The first page also includes a tipped-in title page and a bound-in brochure announcing this particular series (along with a pencil note, "Received 19 Ap 1923") and predicting: "We are entering a period of nudity." Allen (1886-1962) was a pioneer in nude photography who was unusual in that his models displayed certain regions of the female form not documented by other photographers of the time. Allen claimed this was not for salacious reasons, but rather his earnest attempt to display the entirety of nude figure for artistic and "democratic" ideals. He explained in his biography, "To see womankind entirely nude would place all women on equality... And it would be only their true mental and physical charm that would lift them from the ordinary." Allen was arrested and indicted on several occasions during the 1920s for distributing obscene material but continued undaunted. He further pushed the boundaries with a portfolio of women from other races and a film of nude woman performing choreographed routines and military drills. Eventually he became a photographer for the Elysium Foundation, a nudist society, before fading into obscurity. An interesting and arresting collection of images from the early part of the 20th Century by an unsung pioneer in nude photography.

Item #348139

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[Photo Album]: The Female Figure. Albert Arthur ALLEN.