The thousands of photos that Irving Klaw commissioned of Bettie Page from 1952 to 1957 created an American icon, but the cheesecake business could be fickle. Last month the Chelsea shop Klaw founded, Movie Star News, sold its entire inventory to a memorabilia dealer who plans on putting the archive up for auction. Here, the wages of titillation.
Per-photo-shoot fee paid to Page by Klaw, as of 1952
Klaw’s production cost, per photo
Typical price of individual pinup shots during the fifties
Price for a 100-pack of pinups
Klaw’s estimated gross earnings in 1955
Average licensing fee Klaw charged for Page images in the sixties
Bail posted by Klaw after he was indicted in 1963 for conspiracy to use the mail to distribute obscene material
Number of years Page spent in Patton State Hospital after being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1983
Estimated present value of Movie Star News’ Page negatives, according to new owner Stuart Scheinman
Amount earned by Page’s estate in 2011, ranking her thirteenth on Forbes’ list of highest-paid dead celebrities
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