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HomeContents > People > Photographers > John Allen

Dates:  1888, 20 November - ?
Born:  Ireland, Belfast

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for John Allen
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Born on November 20, 1888, in Belfast, Ireland, Allen made his way to Pittsburgh by 1922. Subsequently, he lived in Brooklawn, New Jersey, for a few years, and then resettled in Philadelphia in 1926. He was drawn to water with his camera, frequently making images of rivers, docks, boats, and other marine subjects, often with effective reflections.
Allen exhibited in photographic salons for two decades, from the early 1920s to the early 1940s. Between 1922 and 1931, his work was accepted every year at the Pittsburgh show, one of the country’s most prestigious salons. Reproductions of his pictures appeared in American Photography in 1925, 1926, 1928, and 1929, and in the American Annual of Photography from 1924 to 1927. In 1932, he was privileged with a one-person exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum, in Washington, D.C. He served as vice president of the Photographic Society of Philadelphia during most of the 1930s and was also a member of the Pictorial Photographers of America. Allen moved to Los Angeles in about 1940 and exhibited for only another few years. 
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 1 June 2013. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
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