Glanzman the Lensman has his Assets Froze Bettie Page the Post Office and Mail Order Madness Vintage Sleaze
Name the photographer who put Bettie Page in a motion picture wearing an Indian headdress and had his finances frozen like a despot for doing it!
Willliam Glanzman, famous photographer and sleaze.
Glanzman photographed Ms. Page several times. They are among the least seen and least familiar photographs of the icon and many are in color. Not only that, he produced and sold a short stag film of the actress back in 1955.
While Glanzman's work was goofy, putting the model among fake palm fronds and giving her stupid props, they were tasteful...although topless, there is no full frontal nudity and no implied bondage. (You know...the things other photographers were paying the model for.)
While Ms. Page (who was spelled "Paige" on his reel of film) was not Glanzman's only model, she was his best. Ganzman also shot, and sold, slides and photographs of Gypsy Palmer, Tamar Benamy, Judy O'Neil and others. Again, no hardcore. Figure studies.
Still, Ganzman was prosecuted. The brochure above is what got him in trouble. Doing business as "Bowery Enterprises" he mailed them with less discretion than he should have. At least the New York postmaster thought so. They decided to put a freeze on all money orders and ordered all his mail returned to the sender! Why? Because he was selling, (quoting from the legal jargon used to deny him making a living off Bettie's bangs ) "obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy... vile article(s), matter, thing, device, or substance..."
Personally, I am of the opinion that Bettie Page was not obscene. She was obscenely beautiful...but obscene?
It was 1955...I might agree if some cub scout's mom received this brochure because Glanzman swiped the Boy's Life mailing list she might have been a bit upset. I'll grant you that, postal forces who know better than I what I should see...but you will never get me to admit she was a vile article.
Did the fellow who so anxiously checked his mailbox everyday before his wife came home receive his film and pictures ordered above? I hope so, but I don't think so. As he dated his note, the order clearly fell within the window when Glanzman's money was being returned to sender. A shame. How many poor saps out there with $16.00 to blow on smut had to make do with the Sears catalog? We will never know.
Read Ganzman's tale of woe HERE. So I don't suffer Glanzman's fate, I've blanked out the parts of Ms. Page which presumably offended the post office.
Original Brochure from William Glanzman and "Bowery Enterprises" 1955. Original note from purchaser handwritten on one side. Collection Victor Minx
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