When Texas couple Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell stumbled onto a s-era photograph in a Dallas antiques shop some 20 years ago, they were startled to see a relationship that looked much like theirs: two men, embracing and clearly in love. As Dee Swann writes for the Washington Post , the image spoke to the couple about the history of love between men. We were intrigued that a photo like this could have survived into the [21st] century. Who were they? In the decades that followed this initial discovery, the pair came across more than 2, photos of men in love—at first accidentally and later on purpose. The result of their trips to flea markets, shops, estate sales and family archives across Europe, Canada and the United States is a tome titled Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love s to s.
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All the Openly Gay Male Celebs Who Are Out, Proud & Smokin’ Hot – SheKnows
Get the latest news, reviews, and commentary delivered directly to your inbox. Every weekday. While the majority of the images hail from the United States and are of predominantly white men, there are images from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Japan, Latvia, and the United Kingdom among the cache. What do images of men in love during a time when it was illegal tell us? What are we looking for in the faces of these people who dared to challenge the mores of their time to seek solace together?
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In his excellent biography of art curator and collector Sam Wagstaff , Philip Gefter notes how the rise of the gay rights movement in the early s occurred at the same time as the growing interest in photography as an equal among the arts. Once he was turned on to photography by his lover Robert Mapplethorpe — whose career he also helped support and mythologize — Wagstaff amassed one of the most important private collections of photography, which he used to promote the art form before he sold to the Getty Museum in a few years before his death from AIDS-related complications to cement its importance. Or why it continues to hold us spellbound. But I was reminded of this impulse and drive to collect obscure photos when I flipped through the pages of Loving , a gorgeous new monograph composed of hundreds of photos of men from the s to s amassed by Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell.