Friday, May 5, 2017

These Rare Photographs of ’50s Pinup Queen Bettie Page Were Nearly Destroyed!

In 1949, Bettie Page moved to New York with aspirations of becoming an actress. It was there she met one of America’s first ‘fetish’ photographers, Irving Klaw. From 1952 to 1957, Page worked as a model for Klaw for both his photographs and films, earning her the media nickname, “The Queen of Bondage.”

The collaboration between Bettie Page and Irving Klaw produced photographs that are far more than mere pin-ups. They have given generations of people something to admire, by showing one strong, unapologetic woman, at home in her curvaceous body.

While by today’s standards some of these photographs may seem tame, even humorous, there was nothing funny about what Bettie and Irving were up to. They were, perhaps unwittingly, blazing a trail for future pro-sex feminists to follow, by creating a portrait of a woman’s life built on confidence, tolerance, and sexual freedom.

According to The Washington Post, Klaw was targeted during the Kefauver Hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, in which his photographs were claimed to be causing deviance, perversion and violence. Klaw was not charged, but felt compelled to burn his prints and negatives upon returning to New York. What photos survived were saved by his sister Paula. “BETTIE! : The Incomparable Bettie Page Archives of Irving Klaw,” is comprised of those images saved by Paula without Irving’s knowledge.










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