The Homoerotic Photograph: Male Images from Durieu/Delacroix to Mapplethorpe

Overview

Allen Ellenzweig traces the male gaze upon men as captured by the camera throughout the history of photography. More than one hundred striking, provocative duotone photographs reflect a wide-ranging history of photographic male homoeroticism and the spiritual, physical, and intellectual exchange among men. Accompanying these images is a detailed account of the multiple, complex meanings of the homoerotic that have taken shape from the 1850s to today.

Ellenzweig situates each of ...

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Overview

Allen Ellenzweig traces the male gaze upon men as captured by the camera throughout the history of photography. More than one hundred striking, provocative duotone photographs reflect a wide-ranging history of photographic male homoeroticism and the spiritual, physical, and intellectual exchange among men. Accompanying these images is a detailed account of the multiple, complex meanings of the homoerotic that have taken shape from the 1850s to today.

Ellenzweig situates each of his artists within their historical context, with chapters devoted to specific photographers and eras. He begins with nineteenth-century French photographer Eugène Durieu and his studies of the male nude, created under the direction of painter Eugène Delacroix. He then takes readers all the way through the rebellious 1960s and the disputes surrounding Robert Mapplethorpe's controversial retrospective in 1989 and 1990. Showing that homoeroticism in photography is anything but a contemporary invention, Ellenzweig unites photographers across the stylistic spectrum within a theme that came to inspire a host of larger spiritual, physical, and intellectual ideals.

Columbia University Press

Gathered here are 127 beautiful and provocative duotone photographs that reflect the wide-ranging history of male homoeroticism as revealed by the camera--amply suggesting spiritual, physical, and intellectual exchange between men. To accompany these images, Ellenzweig offers a detailed account of the multiple and complex meanings of the homoerotic, from the 1850s to today.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times

Allen Ellenzweig's long, thorough text is a model of scholarship that succeeds in interweaving the evolution of gay culture and how it related to changes in the culture at large, with art history.

Oxford Art Journal

[A] handsome volume... stimulating and highly readable.Oxford Art JournalOxford Art JournalOxford Art Journal

Choice

An important contribution to the understanding of contemporary gay expression and sexual politics.... A seriously researched and broadly conceived study of the subject. Highly recommended.Choice

Choice

An important contribution to the understanding of contemporary gay expression and sexual politics.... A seriously researched and broadly conceived study of the subject. Highly recommended.Choice

Los Angeles Times Book Review
Ellenzweig's long, thorough text is a model of scholarship that succeeds in interweaving the evolution of gay culture, and how it related to changes in the culture at large, with art history.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Discussing artists ranging from Thomas Eakins to Robert Mapplethorpe in this lavishly illustrated survey, Ellenzweig maintains that until very recently male homoerotic photographs were presented in terms acceptable to a wide audience. A photography and art critic and administrator at New York University, he first examines the theatrical shots French photographer Eugene Durieu made with painter Eugene Delacroix in the 1850s--pictures that paved the way for the academic nude. Eakins's Philadelphia pastorals of the 1880s--photos of naked young men at play--were embraced as genre scenes. Prussian baron Wilhelm von Gloeden's images of unclad Sicilian youths in Mediterranean sunlight were taken as allusions to Greek classics. Brassai's steamy 1930s pictures of Paris's gay and lesbian subculture were viewed as sociological documents. Only in photography's recent history, asserts Ellenzweig, have works dealing with male nudity and male homosexual relations been stigmatized in psychiatric terms. Featured among the 127 mostly explicit duotone photographs are works by Minor White, Arthur Tress, Duane Michals and Peter Hujar. (Oct.)
Booknews
Gathers 127 beautiful and provocative duotone photographs that reflect the wide-ranging history of male homoeroticism as revealed by the camera. To accompany these images, Ellenzweig offers a detailed account of the multiple and complex meanings of the homoerotic, from the 1850s to the present. Each artist is placed in historical context, with chapters devoted to specific photographers and eras, beginning with the male nude studies created by 19th-century French photographer Eugene Durieu under the direction of painter Eugene Delacroix. 10.75x12.25" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Allen Ellenzweig is an arts critic and cultural commentator currently researching the life of twentieth-century photographer George Platt Lynes. He is a contributing writer to the Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide and has published in Art in America, PASSION: The Magazine of Paris, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and the online magazine, TABLET. He teaches in the Writing Program at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York.

George Stambolian (1938-1991) was professor of French at Wellesley University and editor of Twentieth Century French Fiction: Essays for Germaine Bree and, with Elaine Marks, Homosexualities and French Literature: Cultural Contexts/Critical Texts.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Durieu/Delacroix and the Tradition of the "Academic Nude" 6
2 Sutcliffe in England, Eakins in America 16
3 Von Gloeden in Europe, Holland Day in America 35
4 Brassai in Paris 65
5 List in Europe, Lynes in America 76
6 Minor White in America 106
7 Mapplethorpe/Tress/Michals/Weber: American Photography After Stonewall 122
8 The Current Scene 168
9 The Homoerotic and the Politics of Pornography 205
Notes 211
Biographies of the Photographers 221
Index 225
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