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Alfred Cheney Johnston (1885–1971)

New York photographer known for his portraits of Ziegfeld Follies dancers as well as actors and actresses from the world of stage and film.Created by: PICRYL - Public Domain Media Search EngineDated: 1885
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.)

Johnston's "standard" work was used by Flo Ziegfeld for the normal advertising and promotional purposes for the Follies, and mainly consisted of individual or small-group shots of the Follies showgirls in their extravagant stage costumes. However, after Johnston's death in 1971, a huge treasure trove of extremely artistic full-nude and semi-nude full-figure studio photos (and their accompanying glass-plate negatives) was found stored at the farm near Oxford, Connecticut, where he'd lived since 1940.

Most of these images (some named, mostly anonymous) were, in fact, showgirls from the Ziegfeld Follies, but such daring, unretouched full-frontal images would certainly have had no public-publication possibilities in the 1920s-1930s, so it is speculated that these were either simply his own personal artistic work, and/or done at the behest of Flo Ziegfeld for that showman's personal enjoyment.

The only book known to have been published by Alfred Cheney Johnston during his lifetime devoted to his nudes/glamour photography is the 1937 spiral-bound softcover "Enchanting Beauty", which contains 94 black-and-white photos (mostly about 7x9 inches, centered on a 9x12-inch page, although a number are cropped circular or in other designs).

Unusually (compared to virtually all other examples of his work seen today on the Web or other sources, which were shot in an indoor studio in front of a flat-black or illustrated tapestry background cloth), 37 of these photos were taken outdoors along a stream or in flower-dappled fields, etc. All the shots in the book are "airbrushed" in the pubic area, to keep them legal with respect to the publishing standards of the day.
177 Media in collectionpage 1 of 2
Irene Castle - Oct 1921 Tatler - Public domain portrait print

Irene Castle - Oct 1921 Tatler - Public domain portrait print

Irene Castle, on page 3 of the October 1921 The Tatler.

Rubye De Remer - Jan 1922 Tatler

Rubye De Remer - Jan 1922 Tatler

Actress Rubye De Remer, on page 11 of the January 1921 The Tatler.

Evelyn Greeley photop319 - Public domain portrait photograph

Evelyn Greeley photop319 - Public domain portrait photograph

Evelyn Greeley Public domain photograph - female portrait, 20th century, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Gloria Swanson (1919) - Public domain portrait photograph
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Hazel Forbes ACJ.2
Kathleen Ardelle - Sep 1921 Photoplay

Kathleen Ardelle - Sep 1921 Photoplay

Ziegfeld Follies girl Kathleen Ardelle on page 16 of the September 1921 Photoplay. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. f... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Lillian Lorraine ACJ
Louise Huff ACJ - Public domain portrait photograph

Louise Huff ACJ - Public domain portrait photograph

Louise Huff Public domain photograph of 19th-century female portrait, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston3

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston3

Tilly Losch Public domain photograph of 19th-century erotic portrait, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Fay Evelyn 1920

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Fay Evelyn 1920

Actress wearing a dress designed by Lady Duff Gordon

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Zitelka Dolores - 1918

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Zitelka Dolores - 1918

musical theatre actress Zitelka Dolores Public domain photograph related to music, performing arts, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Gladys Glad

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Gladys Glad

Français : Gladys Glad

Louise Squire by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Louise Squire by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Français : Louise Squire par Alfred Cheney Johnston

Marjorie Leet by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Marjorie Leet by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Français : Marjorie Leet par Alfred Cheney Johnston

Beatrice Dakin - Oct 1919 Shadowland

Beatrice Dakin - Oct 1919 Shadowland

Showgirl Beatrice Dakin who was in the Ziegfeld 9 O'clock Revue and Midnight Frolic, page 64 of the October 1919 Shadowland. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New Yor... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Claudia Dell Johnston
Corinne Griffith Cheney Johnston 2

Corinne Griffith Cheney Johnston 2

Photograph published in Motion Picture Magazine

Jean Paige - Mar 1921 Photoplay

Jean Paige - Mar 1921 Photoplay

Jean Paige on page 19 of the March 1921 Photoplay magazine.

Ernestine Meyers - Sep 1919 Shadowland

Ernestine Meyers - Sep 1919 Shadowland

Vaudeville actress Ernestine Meyers (sometimes listed as Ernestine Myers), page 27 of the September 1919 Shadowland.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Alice Wilkie

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Alice Wilkie

Alice Wilkie, Ziegfeld Girl, 1925 The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from 1907 to 1931 known for their elaborate costum... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Mae Marsh photop325

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Mae Marsh photop325

Mae Marsh in Photoplay Magazine March 1925

Betty Blythe - Oct 1921 Photoplay

Betty Blythe - Oct 1921 Photoplay

Actress Betty Blythe on page 12 of the October 1921 Photoplay.

Corinne Griffith Cheney Johnston

Corinne Griffith Cheney Johnston

Photograph published in The Photoplay Journal Public domain photograph - female portrait, the 1910s, 1920s or 1930s, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Dorothy Dickson ACJ1
Fay Bainter - 1919 MunseysMag - Public domain portrait print

Fay Bainter - 1919 MunseysMag - Public domain portrait print

Fay Bainter, on page 351 of the November Munsey's Magazine.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Gail Kane photop319
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Gladys Leslie (Jul 1921)

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Gladys Leslie (Jul 1921)

Gladys Leslie, from a 1921 publication. Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

Naomi Johnson by Alfred Cheney Johnston, 1920s

Naomi Johnson by Alfred Cheney Johnston, 1920s

Naomi Johnson by Alfred Cheney Johnston The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from 1907 to 1931 known for their elaborate ... More

Evelyn Laye ACJ - Public domain portrait painting

Evelyn Laye ACJ - Public domain portrait painting

Evelyn Laye Public domain photograph - actress, 1920s female portrait, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

A Ames ACJ - Public domain portrait
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Ames ACJ

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Ames ACJ

Adrienne Ames Public domain photograph - female portrait, the 1920s, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Adrienne Ames Johnston

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Adrienne Ames Johnston

Adrienne Ames Public domain photograph - female portrait, the 1910s, 1920s or 1930s, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Irene Castle Treman - Nov 1921

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Irene Castle Treman - Nov 1921

Irene Castle Treman, from a 1921 publication. Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

Margaret Lawrence (Mrs. Orson Munn)

Margaret Lawrence (Mrs. Orson Munn)

Actress Margaret Lawrence Public domain photograph - actress, female portrait, 1910s, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Nettie Raines - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Nettie Raines - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Musical comic Nettie Raines, on page 44 of the April 1922 Shadowland.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Sally Long Johnston 1920
Alice Wilkie, Ziegfeld girl, by Alfred Cheney Johnston, ca. 1925

Alice Wilkie, Ziegfeld girl, by Alfred Cheney Johnston, ca. 1925

Alice Wilkee (probably spelled Wilkie), full length portrait, seated, facing slightly left in semi-nude provocative pose, photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston for Ziegfeld Follies, ca. 1925 (1930 according to the L... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Frieda Mierse

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Frieda Mierse

Frieda Mierse, Ziegfeld girl, by Alfred Cheney Johnston, ca. 1932 The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from 1907 to 1931 ... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Ann Pennington ACJ
Erotic photography - Avonne Taylor 1920

Erotic photography - Avonne Taylor 1920

Actress Avonne Taylor Public domain photograph - erotic, erotism, naked, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Gloria Swanson 2 by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Gloria Swanson 2 by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Portrait of Gloria Swanson by photographer Alfred Cheney Johnston

Julanne Johnstone (Jul 1921) - Public domain portrait

Julanne Johnstone (Jul 1921) - Public domain portrait

Julanne Johnstone, from a 1921 publication. Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

Madge Bellamy (Jun 1921) - Public domain portrait

Madge Bellamy (Jun 1921) - Public domain portrait

Madge Bellamy, from a 1921 publication. Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

Olive Vaughn - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Olive Vaughn - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Dancer Olive Vaughn, on page 16 of the April 1922 Shadowland. She was in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1919 and 1920. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produ... More

Princess White Deer - Oct 1921 Tatler

Princess White Deer - Oct 1921 Tatler

Princess White Deer, performer in the Ziegfeld 9 O'clock Frolic who was stated as being a "full blooded" American Indian, image was cropped for publication on page 31 of the October 1921 The Tatler, text remov... More

Estelle Taylor, by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Estelle Taylor, by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Estelle Taylor photographed by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Adr Ames ACJ - Public domain portrait photograph
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Anita Stewart ACJ

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Anita Stewart ACJ

Anita Stewart Public domain photograph of a female model, beautiful woman, actress, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Corinne.Griffith ACJ
Gilda Gray - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Gilda Gray - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Actress and dancer Gilda Gray, on page 15 of the April 1922 Shadowland.

Hazel Forbes ACJ4 - Public domain weapon print

Hazel Forbes ACJ4 - Public domain weapon print

Hazel Forbes Public domain reproduction of still life painting, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Margaret Anglin (Jun 1921)

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Margaret Anglin (Jun 1921)

Margaret Anglin, the only producing manager in the United States, from a 1921 publication. Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston.

Margaret Irving - Feb 1923 Shadowland

Margaret Irving - Feb 1923 Shadowland

Actress Margaret Irving, on page 54 of the February 1923 Shadowland.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Marion Davies - Screen Acting

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Marion Davies - Screen Acting

Actress Marion Davies, on page 202 of Screen Acting. Marion Davies - American actress and film producer active during the silent and early sound film eras of the 1910s and 1920s. She was born in New York City... More

Pauline Starke - Oct 1921 Photoplay

Pauline Starke - Oct 1921 Photoplay

Actress Pauline Starke on page 11 of the October 1921 Photoplay.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Peggy Shannon Johnston1
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston

Tilly Losch Public domain photograph of 19th-century erotic portrait, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Virginia Valli - Mar 1921 Photoplay

Virginia Valli - Mar 1921 Photoplay

Actress Virginia Valli on page 25 of the March 1921 Photoplay magazine.

May Leslie - Theatre 1919-06 ACJ

May Leslie - Theatre 1919-06 ACJ

Musical theatre actress May Leslie Public domain photograph related to music, performing arts, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Ada Mae Weeks - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Ada Mae Weeks - Apr 1922 Shadowland

Actress Ada Mae Weeks aka Ada May, on page 42 of the April 1922 Shadowland.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Billydove
Eleanor Dell - Sep 1922 Shadowland

Eleanor Dell - Sep 1922 Shadowland

Eleanor Dell, in a tinted image on page 15 of the September 1922 Shadowland. She is listed in the cast of the "Ziegfeld Follies of 1920" and other performances on the IBDb. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series ... More

Dorothy Klewer - Dec 1919 Shadowland

Dorothy Klewer - Dec 1919 Shadowland

Ziegfeld performer Dorothy Klewer on page 34 of the December 1919 Shadowland. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from 1... More

Emily Lea, standing full-length portrait photograph, holding ball. Alfred Cheney Johnston

Emily Lea, standing full-length portrait photograph, holding ball. Alf...

Dancer Emily Lea, standing full-length portrait photograph, holding ball. Public domain scan of a magazine cover, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Marie Prevost - Mar 1923 Shadowland

Marie Prevost - Mar 1923 Shadowland

Actress Marie Prevost, on page 21 of the March 1923 Shadowland.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Martha Mansfield

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Martha Mansfield

Martha Mansfield The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from 1907 to 1931 known for their elaborate costumes, sets, and spec... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Pearl White - Jun 1920 MP

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Pearl White - Jun 1920 MP

Actress Pearl White on page 18 of the June 1920 Motion Picture Magazine.

Teddy Sampson - Feb 1922 Photoplay

Teddy Sampson - Feb 1922 Photoplay

Actress Teddy Sampson, on page 14 of the February 1922 Photoplay.

Alta King, Midweek Pictorial 1920-10-21

Alta King, Midweek Pictorial 1920-10-21

Français : Alta King, dans Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from 1907 to 1931 known for the... More

Naomi Johnson by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Naomi Johnson by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Français : Naomi Johnson par Alfred Cheney Johnston English: Naomi Johnson by Alfred Cheney Johnston The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Flo... More

Adrienne Ames ACJ - Public domain portrait

Adrienne Ames ACJ - Public domain portrait

Adrienne Ames Public domain photograph - female portrait, 20th century, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Gilda Gray - Feb 1923 Shadowland

Gilda Gray - Feb 1923 Shadowland

Gilda Gray, on page 20 of the February 1923 Shadowland. Public domain photograph - performance, musical, dance, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Gloria Swanson by Alfred Cheney Johnson

Gloria Swanson by Alfred Cheney Johnson

Portrait of Gloria Swanson by photographer Alfred Cheney Johnson

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Lilian Bond Johnston

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Lilian Bond Johnston

Lilian Bond Public domain photograph of 19th-century erotic portrait, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Marguerite Irving - Dec 1919 Shadowland

Marguerite Irving - Dec 1919 Shadowland

Ziegfeld performer Marguerite Irving on page 16 of the December 1919 Shadowland. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. fro... More

Norma Talmadge - Dec 31 1922 MW

Norma Talmadge - Dec 31 1922 MW

Actress Norma Talmadge, on page 16 of the December 31, 1921 Movie Weekly. The image is one-half of a two page photograph, but as scanned only left the upper portion usable. Norma Talmadge was an American actr... More

Sally Eilers Johnston - Public domain portrait photograph

Sally Eilers Johnston - Public domain portrait photograph

Sally Eilers Public domain photograph - erotic, erotism, naked, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston2

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston2

Tilly Losch Public domain photograph - erotic, erotism, naked, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Jessie Reed, Vogue 15 octobre 1920

Jessie Reed, Vogue 15 octobre 1920

Français : Jessie Reed, photographie parue dans Vogue 15 octobre 1920 The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. from 1907 to 1... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Marjorie Leet

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Marjorie Leet

Français : Marjorie Leet

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Boots Mallory Johnston

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Boots Mallory Johnston

Boots Mallory Public domain photograph - erotic, erotism, naked, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Dorothy Phillips ACJ
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Drucilla

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Drucilla

Drucilla Strain Public domain photograph of a female model, beautiful woman, actress, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Johnston Helen Lee Worthing

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Johnston Helen Lee Worthing

Helen Lee Worthing Public domain photograph related to the history of France, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Louise Brooks ACJ
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Marilynn Miller of the Follies

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Marilynn Miller of the Follies

Actress Marilyn Miller Public domain photograph related to music, performing arts, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Mrs. Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler, Jr. (Leslie Murray)

Mrs. Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler, Jr. (Leslie Murray)

Mrs. Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler Jr. (Leslie Murray), daughter of J. Archibald Murray

Zitelka Dolores in Miss 1917 - Public domain book illustration

Zitelka Dolores in Miss 1917 - Public domain book illustration

Zitelka Dolores as she appears in Miss 1917

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Mauresette
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Billie Burke - Jan 1922 Tatler

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Billie Burke - Jan 1922 Tatler

Still of Billie Burke for the 1921 Broadway production The Intimate Strangers, on page 25 of the January 1922 The Tatler.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Hazel Forbes ACJ5
Irene Marcellus - Public domain portrait photograph

Irene Marcellus - Public domain portrait photograph

Broadway entertainer Irene Marcellus, of Ziegfeld Follies and other musical revues The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. f... More

Jean Paige - Sep 1919 Shadowland

Jean Paige - Sep 1919 Shadowland

Colorized photograph of actress Jean Paige from page 10 of the September 1919 Shadowland (credit on page 79).

Kay Laurell Ziegfeld ACJ - Public domain portrait print

Kay Laurell Ziegfeld ACJ - Public domain portrait print

Actress Kay Laurell Public domain photograph of a female model, beautiful woman, actress, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Mae Murray - Aug 19 1922 MW - Public domain portrait print

Mae Murray - Aug 19 1922 MW - Public domain portrait print

Actress Mae Murray, on the cover of the August 19, 1922 Movie Weekly.

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Mary Eaton - Oct 1921

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Mary Eaton - Oct 1921

Mary Eaton, "Ziegfeld Follies", from a 1921 publication. Photography by Alfred Cheney Johnston. The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City, produced by Florenz ... More

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Ruby Keeler ACJ

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Ruby Keeler ACJ

Ruby Keeler Public domain photograph - female portrait, the 1910s, 1920s or 1930s, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Sally Long ACJ - Public domain portrait print
Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston1

Alfred Cheney Johnston - Tilly Losch Johnston1

Tilly Losch Public domain photograph - erotic, erotism, naked, free to use, no copyright restrictions image - Picryl description

Daisy De Witt - Theatre 1919-06 ACJ

Daisy De Witt - Theatre 1919-06 ACJ

Musical theatre actress Daisy De Witt

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