Mariette Pathy Allen is a graduate of Vassar College and received her MFA from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania where she studied painting. She went on to study photography with Harold Feinstein. Mariette’s earliest portfolios depict images of New Jersey and Philadelphia, including local artists, and eventually continued the series in Europe. In 1978, Ms. Allen encountered a group of crossdressers who happened to be staying at the same hotel where she and her husband were staying, and through one person in the group, entered the hidden realm of crossdressers. She continues to pursue the work of photographing, interviewing, and advocating, on behalf of gender nonconforming people.
Mariette's work is in numerous collections, both private and public, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The New York Public Library, and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Her work has been exhibited internationally-currently "Rites of Passage" can be seen in NYC at the Museum of Sex. Mariette is the author of four books of photography: "Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them", Dutton, 1989, "The Gender Frontier", Kehrer, 2004, "TransCuba", Daylight books, 2014, and "Transcendents: Spirit Mediums in Burma and Thailand", Daylight Books, 2017. Her work is being archived at Duke University's Rare Book and Manuscripts Library, and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's Studies.