1886 – 1962
Born in a wealthy New England family Albert Arthur allen was born in Grafton on may 8 1886. At the age of 21 he 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 studies science, including physiology, chemistry and mechanical engineering. Perhaps this explains why he preferred to aprouch the female body in a more anatomic matter rather then a creative perspective.
While the 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.
One of Allen’s last series is Premiere Nudes 1930, seven models reclien in the background while an eight woman poses on the foreground, wearing only shoes. Allen had discovered that shoes could change a woman’s posture. In 1930 (found guilty in his fourth obscenity case, sentenced to pay a 1200 dollar fine and 6 months of probation) he opened a portret 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 had a son named Frederick and he died unknown in 1962.
I have chosen to add Allen to the list of early fetish photographers since he was able to capture a submissive pose in many of his photographs, his discovery for shoes changing the posture of females also lead to photographing with lingerie and shoes, which in itself is a fetish. And then I came across some save/haremgirl photos I would not let you miss out on. I hope you enjoy this collection.