TASCHEN: Every harrowing day for a serviceman during World War II was potentially his last. To help bolster troops against the horrors of combat, commanders encouraged them to form tight “buddy” relationships for emotional support. Many war buddies, together every moment, and depending on each other to survive, formed intimate friendships. When they weren’t fighting side by side, they relaxed together, discharging tension in boisterous—sometimes naked—play. The full extent of nude horseplay among men during World War II can’t be known, as cameras were rare and film hard to process, but some men did document this unprecedented male bonding in small, anonymous photos mostly kept hidden away until their deaths.
Los Angeles photographer Michael Stokes has spent years searching out these photos and building an archive of over 500 images. His collection includes soldiers and sailors from Australia, England, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, and the USA, cavorting on the sand in the South Pacific, shivering in the snow of Eastern Europe, posing solo in the barracks, and in great happy groups just about everywhere. These images show men barely out of boyhood, at their physical peak, responding to the reality of battle by living each day to the fullest—a side of the war never before made public.
The introduction is by Scotty Bowers, an 89-year-old ex-Marine and author of Full Service, the best-selling memoir of his sexual exploits in Hollywood, and how the war forever altered his attitudes about gay and straight, just as these photos may alter our attitudes about World War II and war buddies.
July 1942. “U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Rowing crew.” The fourth installment of our Manly Midshipmen of Annapolis calendar, photographed by one Lieutenant Whitman for the Office of War Information. SHORPY click the image twice to see it HUGE.
Private Birthday Party is a private collection of found photographic slides that depict Kansas City’s early drag ball culture throughout the 1950s and 1960s. With over 200 images, this collection is a rare, important look into the rich history of mid-century drag ball culture in middle America.
Thanks Dusti Cunningham!
SISSYDUDE MEGA P featuring lovely B&Ws @ MYSELFIXION, Older Hotties @ REALMENREALLIFE… and other NAKED BOY GOODNESS
Remember… click the image twice to see it BIG. SO MANY DETAILS!
SHORPY: August 1939. “Oregon. Unemployed lumber worker goes with his wife to the bean harvest. Note Social Security number tattooed on his arm.” The jolly fellow seen here a few years back. Photo by Dorothea Lange.
Nelson Sullivan was enrolled in film school when he shot this Super 8 film at the Westside Piers, a gay-friendly area near the West Village in New York City
THE CURVE: MOCA presents Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland, the first American museum exhibition devoted to the art of Bob Mizer (1922–1992) and Touko Laaksonen, aka “Tom of Finland” (1920–1991), two of the most significant figures of twentieth century erotic art and forefathers of an emergent post-war gay culture. The exhibition features a selection of Tom of Finland’s masterful drawings and collages, alongside Mizer’s rarely seen photo-collage “catalogue boards” and films, as well as a comprehensive collection of his groundbreaking magazine Physique Pictorial, where drawings by Tom were first published in 1957. Organized by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and guest co-curator Richard Hawkins, the exhibition is presented with the full collaboration of the Bob Mizer Foundation, El Cerrito, and the Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles.
In addition to approximately 75 finished and preparatory drawings by Tom of Finland spanning 1947–1991, the exhibition includes a selection of Tom’s never before exhibited scrapbook collages, and examples of his serialized graphic novels, including the legendary leatherman Kake, as well as a selection of Mizer’s “catalogue boards,” AMG films, and a complete set of Physique Pictorial magazine. An accompanying publication includes texts by the exhibition co-curators and a selection of images.