Photographer Arthur Felig, aka Weegee, was a friend of the great pinup Bettie Page. In the 1950s, they formed quite a team.
Jim Linderman says the photos of Bettie Page in the haystacks were produced by Cass Carr, leader of New York City’s “Concorde Camera Circle”.
One thing I can confirm is the outdoor photographs here were taken at Headley Farm in New Jersey, as the gas pump has figured in other photographer’s pictures. Also present at the shoot, which took place on September 9, 1956, were photographers Art Amsie, Arnold Kovacks, Don Baida, and an unknown woman photographer seen here on the left holding her own camera with the boys.
These pictures are published here by permission of the Etherton Gallery. Not all of of Bettie at the farm. We’ve included some of the Gallery’s show on Weegee and his appreciation of the female form.
The Lewis Boro Ledger has come context:
The article appeared in the New York Times on July 28, 1952, and to quote from that piece, “The outdoor ‘classes,’ visible from highways, began in May and generally were held on Saturdays and Sundays at the dairy farm of Arthur Pinari on Route 138 at Goldens Bridge, Lewisboro.”
On that fateful July day, someone must have been less than amused at the au naturel antics happening at the Pinari place and called county Sheriff John Hoy and his posse. The authorities arrived, unbeknownst to the club members and the four or five beauties modeling that day. Out of sight, quietly lurking behind heavy vegetation, the lawmen watched the proceedings for two hours before making their presence known and arresting the club members, who had paid $10 for an art camera trip… Also arrested were the beautiful models and the four ringleaders — Mr. Pinari, photo salesman Rodney Miyamoto, clerk Robert Cheek, and the organizer, black band leader and photographer Cass Carr. The article quoted Westchester County officials as saying the “woodland photography class outraged public decency.”
The photographers were fined $5 each.
The four men were held for trial on Aug. 9 on the charge of disturbing the peace; the models were cited with public indecency.
Mr. Pinari’s trial before Lewisboro Judge John Aiken was postponed until Sept. 4, but court records from the era were not available. Bettie Page, who was arrested as she took a nude potty break in the bushes, demanded that she not be arrested for public indecency. She held up proceedings until her charge was reduced to disorderly conduct, declaring that what she was doing was not indecent. The notoriety of this arrest eventually led to Bettie Page being called before a United States Senate hearing on pornography in 1955.
Via: Etherton Gallery.