Biederer Studio

The Biederer Studio aka Studio Biederer was one of the main producers of high quality erotic and fetish photography in Paris in the years between the two world wars. Their photographs explored sensational, explicit, and often ironic fantasies that pushed the boundaries of accepted sexuality. In 1908 Jacques Biederer, a Czech immigrant moved to Paris and set up a photography studio. The studio was sheltered in a discreet workshop with hall dancers and Parisian prostitutes modeling for the images. The address for the studio seemed to have been: 33 boulevards du Temple, 75003, Paris. I also found some references saying the studio was located on Rue Armand Gauthier in Paris.

He was joined by his brother Charles in 1913 who helped him run the studio. He most likely began as a portrait photographer who sometime later switched to making erotic studies of undraped figures. His earliest known photographs are of nudes in classical poses which were typical of that era. Over time his compositions became more contemporary. He began to shoot outdoors and created photo-sets that told a simple story, such as a romantic couple cavorting in a park. At first, Biederer signed his photographs. When he began specializing in nudes and more risque subjects, he marked some with his initials J.B. or just a “B” beneath an accent mark and then stopped signing them altogether. However, many unmarked images can be identified by the frequently used props, set decorations, and theme.

In the 1920s and ’30s, Biederer Studio became well-known for producing sleek, sophisticated photos of erotic nudes and daring images depicting bondage, whipping, and spanking. These compositions made effective use of fetishistic clothing and accessories such as leather and rubber corsets, high-heel boots, leather opera gloves, shackles, chains, chastity belts, and even a metal spreader bar (perhaps the first to be photographed). Most of the BDSM-themed photographs involve either all-female (F/F) spanking scenarios or a dominatrix humiliating and whipping one or two female slaves. Biederer also made Maledom images (men punishing women) and Femdom photos, some of which feature men being used as pony play slaves. In the late 1930s, the two brothers created a subdivision called Ostra Studio.
In 1940 France was invaded by Nazi Germany; the German occupation lasted until 1944. During that time, Yva Richard, Biederer Studios, and other purveyors of erotica faded away. As the Biederer brothers were of Jewish descent, they were seized by the Nazis and deported to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where they perished. The legacy of the Biederer Studio lives on in the hundreds of photos that are now widely available on the Internet and the influence they’ve had on the early development of fetish fashion, art, and photography. Jacques Biederer broke new ground and set the standard for later artists such as Charles Guyette, John Willie and Irving Klaw who followed in his footsteps.

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