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Bruce of Los Angeles photographs
Coll2017-011  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Photographic prints, slides, and stereo slides, circa 1950-1974, from photographer Bruce Bellas, better known as Bruce of Los Angeles. Bruce of Los Angeles photographed male bodybuilders beginning in the 1940s and sold his photographs (including nude images) via mail order until his death in 1974.
Background
Bruce of Los Angeles was a trading name used by photographer Bruce Bellas (b. 1909) to market his photographs of the male physique. Bellas began photographing male bodybuilders in the 1940s when he moved from Alliance, Nebraska to California. He quickly gained a reputation in the bodybuilding world and began photographing models in his home on Kensington Road in Long Beach. Until 1968 postal regulations did not allow frontal male nude pictures to be posted and so he would travel to big cities with trunks of nude pictures to sell to clients from hotel rooms. He also sold photographs by mail order and was most active in the 1950s and 1960s. In addition, he published his own magazine, The Male Figure, to further promote his photography. Bellas continued to photograph the male physique up until his death in 1974. Following his death, Kurt Deitrick continued distributing Bellas' photographs under the name Kensington Road.
Extent
8 Linear Feet 7 boxes.
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.