Arundel Holmes Nicholls was an exceptional Naturist photographer of the
1910s-1930s and worked out of a studio in New York City. He photographed
outdoors almost exclusively using both male and female models. Arundel
Holmes Nicholls' photographs often exhibited a posterized or iridescent
look which may have been intentional or the result of emulsion
degradation. Some of Arundel Holmes Nicholls' photographs are in the
archives of the Kinsey Institute. Arundel Holmes Nicholls published
WOODLAND ROMANCE (a catalog), in 1923 using what he called the
Guttman Process to make the plates. Arundel Holmes Nicholls attended the
Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ in 1911. The Stevens
Institute of Technology was founded in 1870 and remains active today.
I was contacted by a relative of one of Arundel Holmes Nicholls' models
which helped quite a bit to build on the Arundel Holmes Nicholls
knowledge base (see below).
"My family has a connection to the photographer Arundel Holmes Nicholls.
Not a blood relationship, but a close friendship from the 1930s. Three
of my aunts were woodland subjects of "Nick" and I think my mother and
father were too. I have a dozen or so of his original prints.
'Nick' is the name by which A. H. Nicholls was known. He operated from
217 East 22 Street, then 435 W. 43 St. in New York. He was descended
from British nobility (there is a castle and town of Arundel about 55
miles from London). Nick's mother was the artist Rhoda Holmes Nicholls,
and his father the artist Burr Nicholls. Both were highly regarded at
the beginning of the last century. Nick never married, and when he died,
all of his possessions went to my aunt.
In addition to the photo collection, I have his notebook from a court
case in which he was sued for mailing pictures of (figure models) in the
US mail. His defense was based upon showing that the form has been basic
to art since antiquity (and he had an extensive collection of postcards
from museums around the world showing reproductions of such classics
that had passed through the mails without concealment). I can't tell you
much about the court case either. I assume it was Federal and tried in
the district court for New York. I don't know the outcome.
He had interests in art, photography, erotic literature, and fly
fishing. At one point in his life he had taken photos in Africa,
documenting the mound building termites. (I've always wanted to
research whether or not he was connected with National Geographic.) His
best friend, named Hopper, was the first husband of my late aunt. His
woodland photographs were taken within a few miles of New York City.
My aunts and parents are all deceased. They had posed probably prior to
1933, and probably on Long Island or Rockland County." -Don (slightly
Don went on to identify the model from scans 016 through 065 as Verna
Hopper (1905-1999). She was a long time model for Arundel. The preceding
6 scans are possibly Verna's younger sister Grace (1908-1973).
Anyone interested in a vintage Arundel Holmes Nicholls photo, please contact me for details.
Sources: Don, Wikipedia