Nude Study: Alice Boughton, 1909



Alice Boughton (1866 or 1867 – 1943) was an American photographer of the early C20th, noted for portraits of the famous – but also forming part of Alfred Stieglitz’ Photo-Secession group, working to make photography more of a fine art form. She never married, and Wikipedia hints at a relationship with her friend, artist and teacher Ida Haskell, with whom she shared a house for a number of years. She certainly was a striking woman:


…..with a bit of a resemblance to Evelyn Nesbit, the “Girl on the Red Velvet Swing” at the centre of the Stanford White murder scandal in 1906:


I’ve provided my image of a nude group in two formats, since it seems impossible to get a definitive version online – while the first is larger, the second is much more satisfactory in terms of detailing. It’s a good example of her use of the “tableaux vivants” approach to photographing groups:

“(Alice) Boughton specialized in a particular style – portraits of young women and children. Her works appeared in Stieglitz’s Camera Work publication, and her tableaux vivants scenes were featured regularly in popular periodicals like Good Housekeeping and American Magazine. Tableaux vivants or “living pictures” were either costumed models or actors photographed in theatrical lighting. (Alice) Boughton later applied this style to her nude studies of young women and girls.” (Historic

Here’s a charming example of her exterior work, entitled “Autumn”:




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