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About the Photographers

Max Allara

Maxwell Allara (May 29, 1906-1981) was born in Tonco, Italy as Massimino Frederico Allara. He came to the US at the age of three with his parents and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He left to study for a year at the University of California, Berkeley and then attended the California School of Fine Arts. During the 1930s he worked as a magazine photo-illustrator for the Globe Picture Agency in New York City. He returned to Portland in the late 1930s and worked as the display manager for the Meier & Frank department store where he met his future wife, Helen Luhr. He became an American citizen and joined the army to serve in the Pacific in World War II. He was wounded in action and listed as missing. In 1945, he married Helen and they opened the Allara Studio on 35th and Division Street as partners. Later, in 1950, they moved their business to their house on Clintion Street. Besides their commercial work, they also created artistic photography as well as oil and watercolor paintings.

He became more interested in photography as a form of expression. He became a life-long member of the Camera Club of Oregon which included photographers Ray Atkinson, Al Monner, Stacy Wong, and others. He also joined the Oregon Society of Artists. His professional photography appeared regularly in the Oregon Journal; his more artistic work appeared in the influential photography magazine Aperture. As a member of the Oregon Society of Artists, he exhibited his photography in a number of shows around Oregon in association with "Group 15" during 1958-1959. At these shows he learned about the work and philosophy of Minor White. Allara shared Minor White's philosophy that a photograph was more than a simple image. Allara echoed this idea in believing that the image became more than "just the subject matter." In 1960 Minor White organized a group of Portland based photographers into the Advanced Interim Workshop Group. Allara was a assistant to Minor White from 1960-1965. He also became friends with the photographer, Brett Weston, the son of the famous photographer, Edward Weston. He continued to operate his studio and exhibit until his death in 1981.

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Art Hupy

Art Hupy was a freelance commercial and magazine photographer who began his career in 1953. His advertising clients included Rainier Beer and Northwest Airlines and a large number of architectural firms. In 1959 he was also involved in publishing "Advent", an award winning Northwest magazine.

In 1963 he moved to British Columbia where he lived on an island in Blind Channel with his family to paint, sculpt, study and educate his children. From 1966-1968 he was a free lance designer and photographer in Vancouver where he also conducted a part time school of professional photography. He returned to Seattle in 1968 where he taught photography at Bush School and the Seattle Community College. He was also a freelance Graphic Arts Consultant to the Vocational Division of the Special Education Department, Seattle Public Schools in 1971.

He won 25 awards for advertising art including those given out by Seattle Advertising Art and the American Institute of Architects. He participated in numerous exhibitions, including those at the Seattle World's Fair, San Francisco Museum of Art, New York Advertising Art, and Henry Art Gallery.

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Ernest Kassowitz

Ernest Kassowitz was born and educated in Vienna, Austria where he was formerly trained as an engineer. His personal interests, however, were music, art and photography. An avid cellist, he performed with family and friend at home, with fellow officers in Siberia during the First World War, and with Portland and Seattle Symphony members during his photographic openings. He also pursued his longtime interest in photography. His early technical vocation provided him with the expertise with which he manipulated his small format Leica camera.

During the First World War he served with the Austrian army where he was captured twice, first by Russians and again by the Italians. Escaping Europe Kassowitz arrived in the United States in 1934, visiting New York, Chicago and setting up a studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Enticed by stories of the Pacific Northwest he traveled to Portland in 1936. He later moved to Seattle where he established a photographic studio on Westlake Ave. and 5th St.

His photographs display a broad view of cultural the life in both Europe and the Pacific Northwest from the late 1930's to the early 1950's including transient Eastern and Western European artists and thinkers, the painters Tobey and Graves, dance groups, and scenes from Austria. His serial views of dancers, are some of the first strobe light exposures made in Seattle.

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Kyo Koike

Dr. Kyo Koike, a physician, came to Seattle in 1917 from Shimane Prefecture, Japan, to serve as a medical doctor in the Japanese community. On the side, Koike pursued his literary and artistic interests. He was a poet of considerable reputation. He taught and wrote Japanese poetry and founded two poetry clubs locally including Rainier Ginsha, a Seattle haiku society. He also was a hiker and an amateur naturalist.

His most remarkable talent was photography, a hobby he began shortly after his arrival in Seattle. He developed a style reminiscent of Japanese artistic tradition preferring landscape subjects and soft focus technique. His photographic prints were frequently published and he earned international recognition through exhibitions in the salons of Europe, Japan, the United States and South America. In about 1924 Dr. Koike was instrumental in founding the Seattle Camera Club as a means of introducing Native American and foreign-born photographers through club activities and exhibitions. He was the editor of its journal "Notan" until the club disbanded in 1929.

Unfortunately, his career was halted by World War II and the internment camps. During the war Dr. Koike served as a camp physician in a relocation center for Japanese-Americans at Minidoka and remained there until 1945. His camera was confiscated from him and he never returned to the photography business. He returned to Seattle after the war and passed away in 1947.

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Asakichi Kunishige

Frank Asakichi Kunishige was a renowned studio and portrait photographer who exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. Mr. Kunishige was born in 1878 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. He immigrated to the United States around 1896, arriving in San Francisco. He completed a course of study at a photography school in Illinois and returned to San Francisco in 1911. He opened a studio on Fillmore Street which he operated until 1917 when he decided to move to Seattle.

Arriving in Seattle, Kunishige found work in the Edward Curtis Studio, where he learned about studio photography. Subsequently, he worked for photographer Ella McBride. He became good friends with McBride and with Wayne Albee, a fellow McBride assistant.

Kunishige was an active member of the Seattle Camera Club. By the 1920s, he was producing numerous camera studies for submission to American and Canadian salons, where he achieved awards and numerous honorable mentions. Soon he was exhibiting at pictorial salons in Europe as well and received much favorable notice. He had two one-man shows in Seattle and one in Twin Falls, Idaho, before his death.

His non commercial work focused on the human body and showed the influences of his Chicago schooling in the European tradition. He often used models from the Cornish School of Allied Arts where he had contact with aspiring dancers and actors. His models were often draped with filmy veils and photographed in theatrical poses. Kunishige printed most of his exhibited photographs on very sheer tissue with considerable grain and strength. He had this paper made specially, and he sold it under the name Textura Tissue. This tissue contributed to the softness and ethereal quality of his images.

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Charles Pearson

Charles Pearson was born in Pecos, Texas in 1920. He is mainly a self-taught photographer except for a short apprenticeship with his uncle, Alfred Knight, a photographer in Vancouver, British Columbia. He worked as a freelance photographer in Vancouver, B.C. then enlisted in the Army Signal Corps for three years during World War II where he served as a photography lab supervisor and combat photographer. Starting in 1946, he specialized in food and architectural photography. He documented work of many of the major northwest architects. His work has been shown in a number of group and one-man exhibitions and published in many magazines and books. He also taught classes at Edmonds Community College and North Seattle Community College.

The quality and high level of his work was noted by a number of architects in a 1980 AIA nomination for "Recorder of Architectural Accomplishments." He was noted as "investing countless hours on site waiting for just the 'right sun angles' to describe a building 'architecturally' and then make flawless prints with the architectural sense of space. This, Mr. Pearson has been most successful in accomplishing." "His photographs have warmth, interest, and the magic of capturing your eye. Charles is one of the few real talents."

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Mary Randlett

Mary Randlett is a Northwest photographer who has documented the region for last 50 years capturing amongst other subjects, the arts community. She has photographed local talent such as artists and writers Morris Graves, George Tsutakawa, Guy Anderson, Richard Gilkey, Jacob Lawrence, Kenneth Callahan, Theodore Roethke, and Wesley Wehr.

For more information about Mary Randlett see:

A book about her portraits was a finalist in the 2015 Washington Book Awards.

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Henry Sukezo Takayoshi

Henry Sukezo Takayoshi was an avid photographer for over 70 years, one of only two Japanese-Americans in Seattle affiliated with the Photographic Society of America. Since 1947, he exhibited with camera clubs and photographic societies throughout Washington and other Western states. He won dozens of awards including his first prize from the Southwest Washington Fair in 1951 and a prestigious National Newspaper Snapshot Award in 1964.

Takayoshi was born in Tsuwano, Japan, in 1899 and immigrated to this country in 1915, assisting his father in the family's greenhouse business at Port Blakely. The next year, he acquired his first camera and began a life-long interest in photography. He worked at the Port Blakely Mill and in coastal logging and fish camps and oyster farms. He returned to the island and in 1927 married Kikuyo Tokuhisa. They operated the family greenhouse business at Pleasant Beach until World War II when they were forced to relocate to the internment camp, Manzanar. After the war, he worked for Bake Rite Bakery in Seattle, retiring in 1965. He received a formal apology and reparations from the U.S. government in 1991. Most of Takayohi's work is in black and white, taken with a 35mm Zeiss Ikon camera.

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Don Wallen

Refer to our essay, Don Wallen: An American Still Life.

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