Tuesday, August 17, 2010

body movement tuesday :: dawn

Edward Bower Hesser
Among dancers and early motion picture performing community there existed a very strong belief in the ideals of the physical culture movement, of physical perfectibility, bodily beauty, hygiene, and expressive sexuality. Some, Isadora Duncan, Ted Shawn, Annette Kellerman, Margaret Edwards, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., were messianic exhibitionists intent on demonstration to any public that would look the splendor, the human physique.  Edwin Bower Hesser in his own distinctly suspect way latched on to certain of these convictions.  From 1923 until the mid 1930s he edited and supplied imagery for as many as seven art magazines designed for art students concerned with problems of the human form.  His brief stint of study at the Art Institute of Chicago did not entirely elevate his aesthetics from kitsch and artiness to art.  This was, of course, what Duncan and the Greek dance movement was doing at the same time. Dancing in minimal costume in the open air.  Few copies remain of the publications in which Edward printed.  He was not the only supplier of images to these publications.  Included was Alfred Cheney Johnston, John De Mirjian, George DeBarron, and Strand Studio.