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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Kovert of Hollywood


I recently read a believable article which said that there is good evidence that many of the male nude photos sold by Kovert of Hollywood were not actually taken by Fred Kovert.  It seems that many of them were made by a variety of photographers under Mr. Kovert's supevision.  That might account for some noteworthy variations of style and technical prowess among Kovert images.  We start our Kovert series with this shot of Jack Conant, a bodybuilder and model who apparently didn't mind having his photos pitched to gays.  He even had his family portrait (with wife) done by AMG.

7 comments:

  1. Gotta wonder about that name, though, too. Kovert :: Covert

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    1. Your comment provoked some thought and research. My other hobby is genealogy, and I have access to some paid databases. I had long thought that Fred Kovert was a stage name playing on the fact that Fred had played gag drag roles in the silent movies in which there was usually a reveal near the end that he was covertly a man. Well, the official California record of his death by suicide in 1949 says his father's surname was Covert. Now those records are only as good as the information provided at the time of death, so I did some more digging. I found Fred in 1920 at age 25 living with Jesse and Edith Kovert who were listed as his parents. We're still left wondering why the death certificate had the spelling different, but it looks like that was his real name.

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    2. Such great info. Thanks for digging into it!

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    3. Could be another variant on Cohen. Or not, judging by that dick.

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  2. It was common, from the very first photography studios in the 19th century, to the recent demise of most traditional studios due to digital photography, to have assistants who also ended up taking photographs. While they remained in the employ of the owner of the studio these photographs were, for the most part, credited to the owner. Thus, it's very difficult to assign a positive identification. Sometimes partnerships were formed with dual credit applied, and oftentimes the assistants went on to open studios of their own. In fact, most photographers passed through a period of apprenticeship with a "master" photographer. In Koverts case, it's perfectly understandable that he had some assistants, depending on how busy the business was. Maybe some of the assistants handled the more "sensitive" subjects such as the nudes, etc. But when you read that Jack Conant not only had nude photos done, but also used Kovert's studio for family photos, it's obvious there were very different branches of that business, which the assistants employed would be assigned to.

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    1. This is all true, except Jack Conant's family photos were done by AMG, not Kovert.

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  3. Oh, I misunderstood the caption. :)

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