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Men In Rows: What You Won't See at the Library

Men In Rows: What You Won't See at the Library

It's great to be included in the Los Angeles Library's exhibition, "21 Collections: Every Object Has a Story." 

With found paper airplanes gathered by filmmaker Harry Smith; matchbooks saved from gay bars that disappeared decades ago; typewriters amassed by Tom Hanks, and much more—"21 Collections" reveals compelling and unconventional stories.

Thanks to Todd Lerew, Program Manager of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, who spent years visiting over 600 collections across Southern California in preparation for this exhibition.

Los Angeles Central Library, Getty Gallery
September 28, 2018 – January 27, 2019

While they were able to fit 20 Men In Rows into the exhibit, many others didn't make the cut. Here are some of my favorites. 

Track Team, sepia Real Photo Postcard c. 1925
The casual ease with which they arrange themselves suggests Old Dutch Masters (in their underwear).

Men with Broad Shoulders, anonymous snapshot: Los Angeles, August 11, 1934.
The guys on the left look straight ahead. The two on the right are looking at each other. Is that allowed?

Eight Men Showing Legs, anonymous snapshot c. 1950s.
A Chorus Line anyone?

Quartet #734, Pat Rocco, c. late 1960s
Men Without Pants

Soldiers Without Uniforms, anonymous snapshot, France, c. 1930.
Otherwise ready for battle.

Cross Dressers, German Real Photo Postcard, c. 1920s
They're all "men" in one way or another.

Man in Row, anonymous snapshot c. 1940s
It's an early version of Where's Waldo. I love that he manages to get his face in the picture. 

Men in Drag, anonymous snapshot, Hollywood, 1954.
Girlfriend drag did NOT start with RuPaul.

Anonymous Snapshot c. 1930s.
Five Men Sleeping Between One Another's Legs

Men in Row, Setsnug Underwear Box
Setsnug underwear box c. 1915.
Retouching the genitals calls attention to them (or rather to the fact that they're missing). Otherwise, a traditional "line 'em up by height" organization.


Men in Row Polaroid
Three Men in Row, vintage Polaroid c. 1980s

Men in Rows photo Sokols
Sokols Performance, Real Photo Postcard, Czechoslovakia (undated)

  • Post author
    barry harrison

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