Photographer Dennis Bell, owner of the Athletic Model Guild archives, has launched a new Website, www.AthleticModelGuild.com, to showcase the work of AMG founder Bob Mizer. The site launched on Tuesday.
Bell has been cataloguing the more than 1,000,000 black-and-white negatives, color slides, videotapes, films, and magazines since he bought Mizer's estate a year ago. The site "will never be complete," Bell said in a press release announcing the launch. "Our goal is to add and update at least twice a week. But, already, there are thousands of color and black-and-white pictures, 16mm film clips, streaming video, a ‘hands free’ slide show and more.”
The interactive site allows the public to learn about the 60-year history of AMG, to order DVDs, magazines, tapes, or archival quality prints from the original negatives. Members of “The Archive” section can view the video clips and photo sets of hundreds of AMG models.
“I think people who visit the site will be overwhelmed with the fantastic quality of the reproductions,” Bell said, “especially those who have spent hours in user groups looking at fifth, sixth, or 10th generation copies. Many of these on the new site have been scanned from the original negatives.” According to Bell, film clips have been digitized from original 16mm film negatives and video masters using the latest technology, and musical scores have been added.
“One of the sections I’m most proud of is the Time Line,” Bell said. Presented on a semi-split screen, the Time Line shows major historical events aligned with dates of extraordinary importance in the 60-year history of the Athletic Model Guild. “Although there are still areas of the country where censorship battles are being fought, the Time Line shows clearly how far we have come in breaking down the barriers for adults to view the things they want to see. Bob Mizer was in the forefront of the battle to break down those barriers. He served jail time. He fought the postal authorities. He should be considered a hero by those of us who appreciate the male form.”
Many features of the new site can be viewed for free. Two extensive histories, AMG – The Fantasy Factory, by Marvin Jones (Campfire Video), and Physique Pictorial and AMG, by Wayne Stanley (original AMG heir), provide behind-the-scenes insights into the AMG vision and operation, and reveal some of the challenges Mizer faced from law enforcement.