Edwin F. Townsend At the cusp between "Strongman" and "Beefcake" photography stands Edwin F. Townsend as the preeminent physique photographer of the 1920s and '30s. Coming from the world of fashion and theatrical photography, Townsend's dreamy grace and light set him apart from his predecessors and paved the way for the new male esthetic that would be celebrated by the likes of Lynes, Urban and Forbes. As David Chapman comments in the introduction to Adonis: The Male Physique Pin-Up 1870 to 1940, "a classical Greek serenity pervades the work...drawing upon images of a Classical and contemplative Elysium of the soul." A New York photographer, Townsend worked first with Sigmund Klein in the 1920s and graduated to his favorite model Tony Sansone. To learn more, please see the "Collector's Notes" below. Learn more about Townsend, Sansone and early male nude photography by visiting other sites, reading book reviews and purchasing titles of interest from our Links & Books page.

Tony Sansone, a native New York actor and dancer, was considered to be the perfect male physique of the 1920s and '30s. In his later years he owned several gymnasiums in the New York City area. Immortalized in two small but renowned books of photography, Modern Classics (1932) and Rhythm (1935), he was described by Arthur Lee as "a man finer in form than any Greek statue, and whose proportion is as rare and rhythmic as his form.... Tony Sansone is the thrill and despair of genuine artists."
"Tony Sansone"
circa 1920s
Edwin Townsend
7½x9½ borderless matte finish
Sorry, this item is not available
"Tony Sansone with
Arm Outstretched"

circa 1920s, not available
Edwin Townsend
7½x9½ borderless matte finish
Sorry, this item is not available
"Tony Sansone with
Hand on Forehead"

circa 1920s
Edwin Townsend
7½x9½ borderless matte finish
Sorry, this item is not available

"Dr. Milton Traeger"
circa 1920s, $450
Edwin Townsend
7½x9½ borderless matte finish
signed by photographer & model
with inscribed dedication by model:
Harry & Florence
May you find life to your liking
Your Cousin
Milton Traeger

Collectors Notes:
Townsend did not always sign his photographs, but when he did it was usually in red ink and in the idiosyncratic style seen here.
Click here to see the complete list of Collector's Notes or return to the top of the page.

To Purchase An Item:
If you are interested in purchasing any of the above photographs, please contact us at theguys@bigkugels.com.
Refer to the item name in the subject header of your e-mail and state in the body of the message that you are of legal age and residence to purchase adult items.
Please remember that these are one-of-a-kind items and will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Early Male Nudes






Riebicke & Naturists




Strongmen & Wrestlers

And check out the other Early Male Nudes
that we currently have for auction
@ this week's items on eBay

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