50 years later

Picture trading has been a popular pastime on the internet
ever since it was invented. When Alan Harmon got his first
computer in 1999, a friend introduced him to the world of
e-mail subscription lists, where every topic under the sun is
discussed and dissected by anywhere from a dozen to
thousands of members. As vintage physique photos had
been a passion since the early 90s, finding a list devoted
to the subject proved very exciting.  After 10 years of
collecting, in which he would start his own e-mail club
(still running after 8 years), a free website and a blog
(v-m-p.blogspot.com) devoted to the subject, Harmon has
amassed a collection of over 20,000 physique photo scans
ranging from the 1880s to the early 1970s.

When Harmon posted 3 photos by John Palatinus on his
blog, he never expected to receive an e-mail from the artist,
nor to learn that he lived only a few miles away! Upon
learning about the circum-stances in which Palatinus had
lost all of his work, Harmon decided he had to remedy
that situation.

At their first meeting, Harmon presented to Palatinus a
small group of printouts of photos positively identified over
the years as being by the artist. Later, with the aid of his
e-mail compatriots, Harmon was able to compile a nearly
complete set of index prints, providing the names and
faces for most of Palatinus’ models. Using these to search through the “unknowns” in his collection, Harmon was able
to pull out about 80 more images and give them back their
names. From a physique pay-site he was able to compile
all of the known magazine pages featuring Palatinus’ work.
At their next meeting a few months later, Palatinus was
presented with a box of several hundred pages of photo and
magazine scans, comprising the most complete set possible
of the artist’s images that have been traded over the internet.
That collection continues to grow as new images are still
being discovered.

Shortly afterward, when John Palatinus discovered an
envelope containing 8 negatives and 12 4x5 photos – all
fifty year-old originals – the seeds were sown for his
first-ever exhibit, “John Palatinus: Tomorrow’s Man” at the
Antebellum Gallery in Hollywood. The inclusion of his work at
Chronotopia is a further inspiration for the artist to share
with the world what he once considered a lost part of his life.