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Pair of 1920s Albert Arthur Allen Silver Gelatin Framed Nude Photographs

  • $ 20000

Vintage original pair of silver gelatin black and white photos of a nude female figure by infamous San Francisco photographer Albert Arthur Allen (American, 1886-1962) in 1922. 

Born into a wealthy New England family on May 8th 1886, at 21 Albert Arthur Allen moved to California and opened the Allen Art Studio in Oakland (1916). Around 1920 he renamed his studio to The Allen Institute of Dine and Applied Art, he also began teaching photography, and started publishing thematic portfolios of nudes, for educational use only.

Allen had studied science, including physiology, chemistry and mechanical engineering. Perhaps this explains why he preferred to aprouch the female figure in a more anatomic matter rather then a creative perspective.

While the nude photos Allen produced could not at all being considered erotic by anything beyond the strict standers, for sure compared to contemporary phtoography coming from Europe, most of all from France. However the so called Comstock Laws attempted to apply there standards in force, Allen was indicted on charges of mailing obscene materials by the Purity League and the Society for the Suppression of Vice. This was in the beginning of 1924, on three occassions Allen was acquitted in the federal courts, but one resulted in his conviction: 6 months in prison

In 1930 (found guilty in his fourth obscenity case, sentenced to pay a 1200 dollar fine and 6 months of probation) he opened a portrait studio on Market Street in San Franciso. From that point little is known of his life, he was photographer for the Elysium Foundation (a nudist organisation) in 1936, he died unknown in 1962.   


Each photo measures 6.5" long by 2.25" wide in a frame that measures 14" long by 11" wide.    


In good condition (please see all pictures as they form part of the condition description)

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