Sunday, August 25, 2019

Minor White, Part 2 - Semi-nudes

For our G-rated series, I've chosen some Minor White semi-nudes that stand out.
This model with some boards and a cloth is exceptionally well lighted.

The shadow line on the model's right arm presents an interesting, almost puzzling effect.

The driftwood, the man, and the sand all work together in this one.

I wish there were more photos of this Minor White model.

I really like the interplay of the shadows and silhouette in this White beach photo.

Minor White, Part 1 - Male Nudes

Minor White (1908-1976) was an exceptional photographer and teacher of fine art photography who is best known for taking photos of nature and architecture to which he would give an abstract treatment.  (Search Google Images, and see what I mean.)  For our purposes, as usual, we will focus on the limited number of male nudes that he did.  This one is Minor and His Disciples from 1972.

This 1948 photo is Tom Murphy with a piece of driftwood.  When Minor White completed a series of mostly nude photos featuring Tom, he made two sets of prints and bound them in book.  He kept one for himself and gave the other to the model.  Some of those prints appear later in today's series.

This is Tom Murphy from the exceptional series of photos called The Temptation of Saint 
Anthony Is Mirrors.  Minor White could have been jailed had he distributed or exhibited 
it when it was made in 1947-48.  The first full showing of the entire work was at the 
Getty Museum in 2014, but it would have been perfectly legal any time after 1968

While he was well known for making outdoor photos of landscapes and architecture, 
this outdoor nude is a rarity in Minor White's portfolio.

Minor White's use of truncated torsos and images of male nudes with the head cropped out have been viewed by some critics and art historians as indicative of his lifelong failure to deal with his own homosexuality.  White remained deeply closeted until his 1976 death despite having been a key player in both artistic and academic circles where gays were generally tolerated. This is another work  featuring Tom Murphy from the 1947-48 series The Temptation of Saint Anthony Is Mirrors.

Saturday, August 24, 2019


Going back to the SA-Kuva Archive of the Finnish Armed Forces for another World War II series.  Here we see some men emerging from a sauna, a Finnish cultural tradition that they managed to maintain in a number of inventive ways even in the middle of a war.

This picture has always puzzled be a bit because it's not clear if this is the changing area for a shower room, a delousing station, or a sauna.  The guy toweling off makes me lean toward shower.
Edited to add:  My collaborator and fellow Hawaii resident Larry researched this, and it is a sauna.

I posted this amusing photo on my old tumblr, and it got quite a response.  I don't know if it was the interesting plumbing fixtures or the rare World War II chubby guy that got all the likes.

This appears to be a purely recreational swim.  Many of these lakeside photos show men taking baths, shaving, and/or doing laundry at the same time as others are swimming.

These men are getting all cozy in the sauna, an activity that a major war couldn't stop.

Friday, August 23, 2019

1970's Day, Part 2 - Male Nude Art

Continuing the 70's theme with our art session, starting 
with this drawing by New Orleans artist George Dureau.

Mark Allen Isaacson painted Black Male Nude with Sculpture in 1973.

Egon Posselt is an Austrian artist who painted Crouching Boy in 1975-76.

Barkley L. Hendricks painted Brown Sugar Vine in 1970.

Finishing up our 70's art with a piece that may or may not be authentic . . . whatever that means 
when one is referring to Mark Beard, an artist known for a number or alter ego personas 
through which he expresses a number of genres of painting.  See his wiki for details here .  
This is supposed to be an actual pre-persona student work by Beard from 1975.  Or is it?

1970's Day, Part 1 - Photos

As a pop culture historian once put it, the 1970's began with the holdovers of the hippies, passed through the disco wasteland, and ended with the dawn of punk rock.  Anyway, it's 70's day on the blog, and we start with this 1975 Jim French photo that is the first of today's two Colt images.
Edited to add:  Thanks to viewer Dan for letting me know that this is
Lloyd Beardsley, a model who also did an early photo series for Playgirl.

This 1970 photo of Robert Baker is probably the most recent image in my Dave Martin collection.  Martin's notes indicated that Baker was a student at Emory University in Atlanta, 
and how he came to the California photographer's attention is a mystery.

I wish Google Blogger had a "reblog" button so I could have used it for this 1972 AMG picture of Tico Patterson (right) and an unfortunately unknown second model.  I saw this photo on one of my favorite blogs, Men From Back Then, and just had to use it.  You should all check out this great vintage resource at .  Well worth a visit.

Don Whitman of Western Photography Guild used a card file system to organize the large inventory of male nude photos in his walk-in sales office in Denver.  This is the entry for Lynn Finney who appeared in the "At Home" series of models in domestic scenes.  Mr. Whitman was so meticulous that we even know that this photo was made on October 16, 1973.

This is Bill Cable in a 1972 Jim French Colt photo.