Lot #8040
Albert Arthur Allen 'The Female Figure' Photograph Suite

Rare complete suite of 20 nude photographs by Albert Arthur Allen, a pioneering photographer of the female figure

Estimate: $5000+

Description

Rare complete suite of 20 nude photographs by Albert Arthur Allen, a pioneering photographer of the female figure

Rare first edition photograph suite entitled "The Female Figure, Series I. Technical Edition," by Albert Arthur Allen, published in 1923, containing a complete set of 20 original silver gelatin prints of his pioneering nude photographs of women. All are stamped on the reverse. Additionally includes the title page, notice for the sale of future volumes plus order blank, booklet advertising the sale of other studies by Allen, and Christmas card signed in fountain pen, "Best Regards, A. A. Allen." Housed in the original cardstock portfolio folder with title imprinted on the front.

Albert Arthur Allen (1886-1962) was a pioneer in nude photography who was unique 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 figures 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 women 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 twentieth century by an unsung pioneer in nude photography.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #617 - Ended September 25, 2021