School of Undressing

Peter Stackpole, [June St. Clair watches Connie Fonzlau clumsily disrobing next to her during a demonstration teaching wives how to undress for their husbands at Allen Gilbert's School of Undressing, New York], 1937

Peter Stackpole, [Connie Fonzlau clumsily disrobing next to June St. Clair as she sexily undresses during a demonstration teaching wives how to undress for their husbands at Allen Gilbert's School of Undressing, New York], 1937

Peter Stackpole, [Connie Fonzlau beginning her lecture on "Bedroom Don'ts" by demonstrating the worst possible method of undressing at Allen Gilbert's School of Undressing, New York], 1937

Peter Stackpole, [June St. Clair demonstrating how wives should roll down their stockings and gracefully display their legs for their husbands at Allen Gilbert's School of Undressing, New York], 1937

Peter Stackpole, [June St. Clair demonstrating how wives should to get into their nightgowns and drop their lingerie all in one magic motion at Allen Gilbert's School of Undressing, New York], 1937

How a Wife Should Not Undress

How a Wife Should Undress…as taught in Gilbert School. Life, February 15, 1937, pp. 41-43

Frankly as a social measure Allen Gilbert, who puts on shows for such topnotch burlesque houses as Manhattan’s Apollo and Philadelphia’s Shubert, is starting a School of Undressing in Manhattan this month. Three wives, anxious to improve their marital manners, will learn the correct way to take off their clothes. Mr. Gilbert feels that many a marriage ends in the divorce court because the wife grows sloppy and careless in the bedroom. “I am dedicating my school to the sanctity of the American home,” he says. The Gilbert faculty is recruited from the ranks of the burlesque performers from all over. Already 48 wives who suspect there is something wrong with their disrobing methodology have signed up for the $30 Gilbert course of six lessons. From these they will learn how to make going to bed appear a thing of charm and pleasure rather than a routine chore.

Mr. Gilbert plans to put on a revue this spring entitled Sex Rears Its Ugly Head. It may be that this current lapse in pedagogy is partially motivated by the knowledge that advance publicity for the producer is not a bad thing.

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About erinbarnett

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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