Nudes / Models
The archive contains innumerable photographs of models that Bell took in his studio for both commercial and artistic purposes. Most of these portraits date from the 1960’s to the 1980’s, against the background of the era’s Civil Rights, Black Power, and Women’s Liberation movements. Bell became especially well-known for his photographs of the human body, particularly of artfully-posed female nudes, many of whom were black. A selection of these striking pictures were assembled into an issue of Avant-Garde magazine, entitled “Bell’s Belles”, that was published in May 1970.
Additional photographs show suited men and stylishly-clothed women in both pensive and allegorical poses; others photographs are of semi-clad and nude figures in more provocative positions. The archive also comprises outtakes of pictures from the various photo shoots that did not end up in magazine spreads or printed advertisements.