Alexander J. “Zan” Stark (1889-1967) was a Michigan-born photographer who moved to San Francisco, California around 1914, where he established a photography and lantern slide business under the name Xan Stark, Alta Studios. He is known for his landscape and nature photographs, for twenty years he traveled through California to create these photos.
In 1914 Zan and his brother Edwin Stark started a small theater lantarn slide business. In 1918 Zan was sent to Europe to fight, surviving 47 days of heavy combat Zan returned in may 1919. In 1920 he partnered with his brother in Alta Slide Photo & Co, a commercial photo studio. They produced arcade cards, a spun off from theatrical glamour. The Stark brothers focused on the Burlesque genre for these cards (there were many like sports, movie stars, burlesque performers).
Alexander ran the studio and called himself Xan, Edwin managed the front office. They came up with other ideas when business was slowing down. Between 1921 and 1924 they produced many nude and risque photographs, the published several Alta Art Studies: Soft cover, saddlestitched volumes containing photographic prints of the female nude.
In the past I had a large collection shared from this studio but it got lost when relocating my site. Recently I decided to invest time and create the collection again. Since some models are known (like Vikova for who I already created a post before) I will try to share about the models as well. Other models known to pose for Alta Studio: Laura La Plante, Olive Ann Alcorn, Seena Owen.
Vikova (see more)