Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes

Overview

In the pre-Stonewall era before the advent of the gay rights movement, male nude photography was kept underground. Photographers feared police confiscation, harassment, and worse. This volume uncovers the work of ten different photographers produced during this suppressive period—images hidden away for a generation in private collections and closed archives. The majority have never been published. A full range of styles is included: gleaming muscle gods shot in the physique magazine style, sun-dappled outdoor ...
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Overview

In the pre-Stonewall era before the advent of the gay rights movement, male nude photography was kept underground. Photographers feared police confiscation, harassment, and worse. This volume uncovers the work of ten different photographers produced during this suppressive period—images hidden away for a generation in private collections and closed archives. The majority have never been published. A full range of styles is included: gleaming muscle gods shot in the physique magazine style, sun-dappled outdoor nudes from the 1960s, and artful black-and-white studio portraits by George Platt Lynes. Uncovered restores a lost chapter to the history of the male nude photograph and reintroduces more than one hundred unsung classics of male erotic photography to the world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Uncovered offers a veritable smorgasbord of ‘rare vintage male nudes’…From the advances in the quality of the photography to the evolution of the models’ haircuts, the book functions, in a nontraditional way, as a survey of the changing fashions of the 20th century – minus, of course, the actual fashions." ~Metro Source

Uncovered, culled from private collections, closed archives and the deepest recesses of censorship in American history, an exceptional collection of dramatic and sexy images defined by aesthetic sensibilities ranging from the starkly classicist to the frankly erotic.” ~GayWired.com

“Massengill’s precise essays provide historical context and critical insight, making Uncovered that rare collection of male nudes with copy as engaging as the pics. They should’ve called it Unexpected.” ~ModernTonic.com

"Reed Massengill's book Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes reveals a treasure trove of images by famous shutterbugs of the not-so-innocent
’30s, ’40s and ’50s." ~Time Out New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789318664
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 4/14/2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 732,429
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Reed Massengill is a photographer and writer whose work has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for biography. He has authored and edited several books, including Self-Exposure: The Male Nude Self-Portrait and The Male Ideal: Lon of New York and the Masculine Physique. Victor Skrebneski is celebrated as one of the world’s finest fashion and portrait photographers. His published books include Five Beautiful Women.
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Read an Excerpt

"In Uncovered, the male nude photographs relate to ecumenical traditions of art. Some of the artists included here are remembering the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome, with Michelangelo’s figure of God creating Adam. Or perhaps an earlier, archaic period prior to full development in Greece–when artists strived to capture the human male figure in motion, with natural anatomical structure and proper proportions. The mysterious, procreative power of the male body is of such majesty that it symbolized creativity since the dawn of art."

~Excerpted from Victor Skrebneski's introduction to Uncovered

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Men Uncovered: An Important Historical Document

    Reed Massengill continues to gather images and historical data that enhance his own very fine books of photography of the male nude. In UNCOVERED: RARE VINTAGE MALE NUDES he has gathered the works by ten brave men who had the courage to create images of the nude male before the censorship by the publishing firms changed following the 1969 Stonewall turnaround. While some of the photographers included in this monograph are well known and bridged that hiatus separating forbidden and completely accepted work, there are also 'new faces' whose work demands attention.

    The 'uncovered male nudes' in this collection are often only partially revealed, as in the photographs by George Platt Lynes (1907 - 1955): positioning and shadows protect the eye form the full model image. Don Whitman (1916 - 1998) worked with body builders and carefully used the 'posing strap' to prevent viewer disdain. Likewise Al Urban (1917 - 1992) and Earle Forbes (1897 - 1970) focused on the posing Greek ideal for their Physique Images.

    But with Plato (1925 - 2003) and John Shreeve Barrington (1920 - 1991) the element of eroticism in the art of male nude photography opened some doors: models were captured more in the privacy of the wild then in the studio and the freedom of posing choices expanded, but still with a sense of restraint. The images of Antonio Arabia (1931 - 1993) are more natural (models in the woodlands) and in many ways more erotic, and the images by Vulcan (b. 1921) and Robert Galster (1923 - 1991) invite the viewer to become involved in the scenario. Many of these images have never been published and Massengill provides a welcome bridge between the art of the male nude as popularized by the many practitioners of excellence today.

    This is an important volume and one that will find a larger audience than many other books on the male nude: the images are less threatening to the viewer than the subsequent work of say Mapplethorpe et al. Massengill introduces each of the featured photographers with a brief but historically and artistically significant essay on both the artist and the particular constraints that surrounded the art of each. Grady Harp

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    Posted December 28, 2009

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    Posted April 9, 2010

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