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Camera Clubs in the Early Days

In the 1950’s, more prudish times for America, there existed secretive “camera clubs” in cities like New York. Photographers like Arthur Fellig (a.k.a Weegee,) Gordon Parks, Rudolph Rossi, and James Wong Howe, worked with models like Bettie Page in full nudity. In the New York Post, photographer Dick Heinlein explained that “nudity back then was very unusual”.

Police raided one club in 1952, with guns drawn. They arrested the photographers and charged them with disorderly conduct. Bettie Page was charged with indecent exposure, which was reduced after a legal battle. The cops attempted to confiscate and destroy the film, but some of it survived and can be seen in the 2014 documentary film, “Bettie Page Reveals All” created by Mark Mori.