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Corinne Griffith Cheney Johnston 2

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Corinne Griffith Cheney Johnston 2

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Photograph published in Motion Picture Magazine

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.

Corinne Griffith, born Corinne Mae Griffin on November 24, 1894, was an American actress, producer, author, and businesswoman. She began her career in silent films during the 1910s and became one of the highest-paid stars of the silent era. Griffith appeared in over 60 films and was known for her beauty, talent, and versatility in roles ranging from drama to comedy. Some of her notable films include "The Tower of Lies" (1925), "The Garden of Eden" (1928), and "Lilies of the Field" (1930). She received critical acclaim for her performances in these and other films. In addition to her acting career, Griffith was also involved in film production and authored several books, including her autobiography titled "Papa's Delicate Condition," which was later adapted into a film starring Jackie Gleason. After retiring from acting in the early 1930s, Griffith focused on her business ventures and became a successful real estate investor. She passed away on July 13, 1979.

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1921
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