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During the 1920s. a time when the United States was, from all appearances, open to artistic experimentation, a Bay Area photographer named Albert Arthur Allen unwittingly took on the Goliath of nudity and politics. An obscure figure who operated outside the margins of the fine art community, Allen was known to a small coterie of clients who bought boudoir studies, pictures of comely young voluptuaries. (In Europe these photographic etudes were an acknowledged integral part of the academic tradition.) A homespun aesthetician who had a marked propensity for self-invention, Allen produced photographic protfolios that were initially inspired by the naturist movement. Today his images, which are typically perceived as high camp, are more familiar than his name.