The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is currently exhibiting Polariod “selfies” of April Dawn Alison, a closeted trans woman who photographed herself approximately 9,200 times over a period of more than 30 years. The photographs were only discovered after her death. Erin O’Toole, the curator of the exhibit, writes that, “These extraordinary pictures — virtually all of them self-portraits — explore a wide range of feminine archetypes drawn from advertising, motion pictures, and fetish and pornographic imagery, revealing a rich inner life filled with as much humor as pathos, as much joy as loneliness.”
Erin visited the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive on May 22, 2019. “Visiting the Louise Lawrence archive was an invaluable part of my research for the museum exhibition and book project about deceased cross-dressing photographer, April Dawn Allison, whose gender identity is not known. Ms. Bob Davis and the many publications she guided me to in the archive provided me with a context that helped me better understand my subject and her motivations for making her photographs.”
The exhibit runs until Dec. 1, 2019.