Edwin Bower Hesser, Three Graces


Edwin Bower Hesser, Three Graces,

+/- 1920’s, United States,
No inscriptions,
Vintage silver print, Excellent,
Not mounted,
10,8  X  7,9 cm

Vintage sepia toned gelatin silver erotic photograph by Edwin Bower Hesser of a lovely soft focus artful views of 3 nude models along the sand dunes - a variation on the photographers "Three Graces" series, a trio of pretty flappers enjoying the solitude of the rugged California Coast. A wonderful view & an original late 1920's - early 1930's camera art gelatin silver photograph. From an Allied Artist's Photographers Guild east coast estate. An original graflex photograph taken by Hesser for use in his of his "Art's Monthly Pictorial" photography magazine for artists and art students. Edwin Bower Hesser was born Karl Edwin Hesser on April 23, 1893 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Born into a theatrical family with a theatrical company manager as a father and an art teacher as a mother, Hesser became involved in theater, drawing, sculpture, painting, and commercial photography at the age of 17. In 1914, he married Rhea May Reed in Aberdeen, South Dakota while managing a theatrical troupe. In 1917, Hesser wrote the story for a theatrical film entitled For the Freedom of the World and wrote, produced, and directed The Triumph of Venus that same year. In 1918, Hesser was commissioned as Captain in the Photographic Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps where he reorganized the motion picture photographic division of the Army. Later that year, Hesser received an honorable discharge and moved to New York City. He also separated from his wife Rhea, who later divorced him in 1920. Hesser was employed as a writer and producer by First National Pictures, and then started his own independent photographic studio. Hesser moved to Los Angeles in 1920 to continue to work for First National Pictures, he became the portrait photographer for the studio's stars (he still maintained his photo studio in New York). That same year, he also started up a second independent photography studio in Los Angeles while working as a photographer for the L.A. Examiner. In his independent photography studios Hesser focused mainly on calendar pictures and art illustrations for major photographic magazines, and continued his portraiture work of theatrical and Hollywood personalities. In 1925, he began his own magazine entitled Arts Monthly Pictorial, which featured his photographic work of nude and semi-nude women. He married his second wife, Margaret Watts, in 1931, but she left and divorced him in 1933 to marry Ridgeway Callow. On July 1, 1934, Hesser married his former model Eve, who became a major collaborator in his photographic business. Eve's father, Clarence Cunningham, became the chief financier of Hesser's business and helped him finance the development of his own three-color system known as Hessercolor. This color system involved three separate negatives that captured three color values. Gelatin prints (yellow, cyan, and magenta) were then made from the negatives and layered together to create one color print. Hessercolor was used on the sets of early Technicolor films such as La Cucaracha (1934) and Becky Sharp (1935). After loosing the battle to Kodak for the use of his color system in World War II photography, Hesser's career began to focus on war-time inventions such as an aerial color camera and water and flame proof insulation for military airplanes. He continued his magazine and fashion photography into the 1940s, shooting on Kodachrome, and also began to do family and individual portraiture for hire. Throughout his life, Hesser experienced numerous health problems. He died August 7, 1962.

Photo ID: 4299

  • photographic process: Vintage silver print
  • Vintage photo made by: Various Photographers

  • Edwin Bower Hesser, Three Graces

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