Albert Arthur Allen Biography

Albert Arthur Allen (1886-1962) was known for his nude portraiture during the 1920’s. Though he claimed his purpose for capturing women in the nude was to carve pathways towards gender equality, audiences largely wrote off Allen’s work as obscene. His use of classical motifs as manifested throughout his subjects’ poses exhibits timeless qualities, deeming his work still contemporarily relevant.

Born into a wealthy family in Grafton, MA, Allen set off to Oakland, CA upon his twentieth birthday to study fine art photography. In 1916, he opened his own studio: the Allen Institute of Fine Art. Allen suffered a catastrophic motorcycle accident in 1923, leaving him disabled. Furthering this pattern of misfortune, the Great Depression marked the onset of major financial disparities. Allen’s first commercial exhibition took place in 1979, followed by his first retrospective in 1992.