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  • historicalzg - 1Reply
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    logormr wrote on Feb 13, '10
    Superbe!!!! merci!

    orgcha1 wrote on Feb 13, '10
    Beautiful collection. Thanks for posting!

    gumlegs wrote on Feb 13, '10
    "Physiology, Eugenics, Art & Love" Okay, SAT students, which of these terms no longer fits with the others?

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Feb 14, '10
    Darnit, I knew I should have taken the SATs instead of just jumping in to CCNY! I have a feeling I know the answer, regardless :smile:

DAWN 1928, a Magazine of Physiology, Eugenics, Art & Love    Feb 12, '10 11:00 PM
by David for group historicalziegfeld #223

Among dancers and early motion picture performing community there existed a very strong belief in the ideals of the physical culture movement, of physical perfectibility, bodily beauty, hygiene, and expressive sexuality. Some--Isadora Duncan, Ted Shawn, Annette Kellerman, Margaret Edwards, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.--were messianic exhibitionists intent on demonstrating to any public that would look the splendor of 'God's temple,' the human physique. Edwin Bower Hesser in his own distinctly suspect way latched on to certain of these convictions. He liked parks & beaches, he liked naked girls, and he liked art. From 1923 until the mid-1930s he edited and supplied imagery for as many as seven "Art Magazines" designed for "Art Students" concerned with problems of the human form. Hesser, failed opera impresario, failed movie director, failed movie actor, brought a lot of baggage to his photography. His brief stint of study at the Art Institute of Chicago did not entirely elevate his aesthetics from kitsch and artiness to art. But on the West Coast he discovered his worst instincts could be held in check if he took the undraped models outside. This was, of course, what Duncan and the Greek dance movement was doing at the same time. Dancing in minimal costume in the open air. So Hesser reckoned that he could cloak his usual nudes in a fashionable pertinence by making them the perfect bodies of the future human race. What Hesser thought about Eugenics is very difficult to ascertain. Not much one suspects. And the depth of his adherence to the philosophies of the physical culturists can be measured by the number of females-in-action shots we see here--none. Hesser's nudes are a new breed of physical culturist--ones that recline, and pensively meditate in boscy glades and on sunny dunes. Nevertheless Hesser manages to set up some interesting shots, suggesting some sort of harmony between nature and recliner. James W. Pondelicek, a Chicago colleague of Hesser's supplies some nudes taken on the Indiana dunes. And New York's Whitely Studio rounds out the series with some studies of healthy NY show girls.

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