It's massive! Over 400 lots in Swann Auction Galleries' upcoming LGBTQ+ Art, Material Culture & History Auction (August 18, 2022).
The sale features original artwork by Tom of Finland including the stunning Portrait of Eric, and works by artists associated with or influenced by Tom (Sadao Hasegawa, George Quaintance, Jim French, and Rex and Etienne).
Photography collectors will find images by Peter Hujar, George Platt Lynes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Duane Michals, Vincent Cianni, Tom Bianchi and Bruce of LA.
There's also historical material from the early years of the gay liberation movement, AIDS era posters and works by Oscar Wilde, Hugh Steers, Paul Cadmus, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Andrew Lamar Hopkins, Avel de Knight and many others.Continue reading
Summer on the Cote d’Azur. Could be July 1946. That’s when French engineer Louis Reard introduced the bikini. Reard named his design for the Bikini Atoll, where the first post-war tests of the atomic bomb were taking place.
Wearing a bikini and lounging on a chaise is the nubile “Queen of the Cote d’Azur,” Mme. Viseuse. Her top– a pair of rigid cones. We see her face in profile as she turns to look up at two bodybuilders standing beside her.
Battendier, barely contained in his swimsuit, literally and figuratively looks down at her. If he’s getting hard it’s not because of the lovely Mme. Viseuse. If he’s not hard, well, I shudder to think.
The other muscle god, Marcel Rouet, was twice awarded le Plus Bel Athlète de France (1936 and 1943). According to Wikipedia, he wrote "seven works on sexuality, in particular by approaching this theme through the mind." Ogling his body, it's not the angle I'm considering.
Rouet gazes upon Mme. Viseuse with a bemused expression, or maybe he’s incredulous. Obviously a posed image, it captures a candid moment like a good snapshot.
Written on verso: Mme. Viseuse, Reine de la Côte d'Azur en companie de Battendier, Apollon de la Côte d'Azur et Marcel Rouet, le Plus Bel Athlète de France.
Stamped "Photo Serge," gloss paper, 9 1/2" x 11 3/4," undated.Continue reading
Photo of the Month: June 2022
A shaft of light? A tractor beam? Probably doesn’t matter to this young guy who surrenders with one hand and smokes with the other.
His back is against the brick wall. His shirt is AWOL. But his expression is coy, almost come-hither. All we know for sure is the date of the photo: June 1936.Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition
A must-read for anyone interested in academic gay history and/or pirates.
The classic depiction of pirates: sword (or bottle of rum) in one hand, the other fondling a buxom wench, is a hetero-normative fantasy. So argues historian B.R. Burg’s scholarly examination of homosexuality on the high seas.
Burg’s careful research proves that the “Golden Age of Piracy” (1650 to 1730) was an oasis of male to male sex and loving relationships. Most pirate officers had their “lads,” and the working crew had each other. In fact, it was pirate society that instituted “matelotage” where same sex partners would contract their assets to each other - a 17th century equivalent of gay marriage.
Sidenote: Two Arrghs and a bag of doubloons to the creators of the hit HBO series “Our Flag Means Death” for not just reading this book, but having the balls to incorporate Burg’s research into the show.Continue reading
Handsome, fully clothed Mr. Black Hat (is it Peter or I?) drapes an arm around his underwear-clad mate. Mr. Silly Hat nestles against his chest, rests a forearm on his leg, and grabs hold of two fingers. More than friendship, their intimate pose suggests union: possession. They belong to each other.
Handwritten on verso: "Peter u. Ich 1957."
Stamped: Drogerie Eduard Schultz, Langendreer Denkmal. (The Headless War Memorial in Langendreer is an interesting story in itself).
4” x 3” gloss print on Agfa Brovira paper, Germany, dated 1957.
Her prose outshines that of the gay pulp novels she reviews. But with style, a touch of cynicism, and a sly sense of humor, Maitland McDonagh reveals a surprising amount of depth in books generally prized only for their covers.
Take this example from her post on Vampire’s Kiss.
If only Damon could silence the mean-spirited subconscious that keeps telling him he hates absolutely everything about the life he was barely living before he hopped into bed with a member of the queer undead.
Think of her blog posts as the Cliff Notes of gay pulps. Yes, she actually reads them so you don’t have to! But her reviews are not to be missed.
Recently found in a house on Pine Walk, there are over 200 cassette tapes of DJ sets from Fire Island Pines and New York City (1979-1999). Digitized, remastered and offered to stream for free on Mixcloud with permission from all of the living DJs they were able to contact.
The New York Times notes: “More than a catalog, the tapes are the soundtrack to a critical juncture in gay history as the AIDS crisis emerged and a new generation of activists fought for their rights and survival.”Continue reading