Billie Burke Show Girl Vintage 8x10 Reprint Of Old Photo
Alfred Cheney Johnston (April 8, 1885 - April 17, 1971) was a New York City-based photographer known for his portraits of Ziegfeld Follies showgirls as well as of 1920s and 1930s actors and actresses. In approximately 1917, Johnston was hired by famed New York City live-theater showman and producer Florenz Ziegfeld as a contracted photographer, and was affiliated with the Ziegfeld Follies for the next fifteen years or so (he also maintained his own highly successful personal commercial photo studio at various locations around New York City as well, photographing everything from aspiring actresses and society matrons to a wide range of upscale retail commercial productsmostly men's and women's fashionsfor magazine ads). He photographed several hundred actresses and showgirls (mainly in New York City, and whether they were part of the Follies or not) during that time period. For his indoor studio work, Johnston often employed a large "Century"-brand view camera that produced 11x14-inch glass-plate negatives, so a standard Johnston 11x14 photographic print was actually just a "contact print" from the negative and not enlarged at all. This size of negative afforded extremely fine image detail. (However, Johnston also is confirmed to have shot with a Graflex camera in 3-1/4 x 4-1/4-inch roll-film format; an unknown brand of 8x10 view camera; and a Zeiss Ikon camera in 120 [2-1/4 x 2-1/4-inch] film format.)
The stock-market crash of 1929 and ensuing Great Depression -- combined with several unsuccessful seasons of stage productions and a variety of messy lawsuits -- devastated Flo Ziegfeld's finances, and he died in July 1932. This heavily impacted Alfred Cheney Johnston's career, and likely led to his relocation to Connecticut at the end of the decade. Although he briefly operated two successive commercial photo studios there in the late 1940s/early 1950s, neither was apparently successful. It is believed that he did also continue his nude/glamour portrait work in a large converted barn/studio on his property, working with a new generation of "post-Ziegfeld" female models and stubbornly continuing to use his massive 11x14-inch view camera.
In 1960, Johnston donated a set of 245 large prints of his work (largely nude and semi-nude Follies showgirls, some well-known actors and actresses of the 1920s/1930s, and a number of product-advertisement photos) to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Apparently five of them have "gone missing" over the years, but the Library still has 240 images in its Prints and Photographs division (Lot 8782).
Alfred Cheney Johnston died in a car crash near his home in Connecticut on April 17, 1971, three years after the death of his longtime wife, Doris. They had no children. Many years later, a considerable number of original Johnston-printed (and sometimes autographed) photographic prints and many original negatives were purchased at several auctions by at least four different American collectors/entrepreneurs. Nowadays, both original ACJ prints and more recent reprints from Johnston's original negatives have commanded significant prices in both on-line auctions and at photo galleries.
This is an excellent reproduction of an old photo. Reproduced photo is in mint condition. This photo will be shipped protected in a padded mailer. Please note the fine print in the foreground of all the photos will not be in the printed version you purchase. All of our photos are developed in photo labs, using the finest photography stock available such as Kodak & Fuji or other quality brand name product. We do not print off our photos on cheap inkjet home printers, like so many other photo sellers here on Shopify. The old saying here applies....you get what you pay for.
Great Photos at Reasonable Prices.