While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
We don't often go out of our way for restrooms, but in the case of Macy's sixth-floor ladies room (sorry guys: you'll just have to make do with having everything else), all who pass through its doors will understand why it's worth the effort.
A glamorous, glittering city on a hill, San Francisco in the late 1950s represented the pinnacle of American prosperity and sophisticated civilization. But every dream home Ñ even the ones that sell for six or seven figures -- has a trap door, as acrophobic Detective “Scottie” Ferguson discovers to his eternal damnation when he skids off a roof while pursuing a suspect. The Everyman hero/monster of Vertigo, Scottie (regular guy James Stewart) is revealed as sucker and sadist, persecutor as well as victim. His weakness and shame, his obsession with the past, are with us forever: Scottie fell for our sins.The San Francisco of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo: Place, Pilgrimage and Commemoration, a new collection of essays compiled by film scholar and historian Douglas A. Cunningham, examines our ceaseless fascination with the movie and San Francisco’s midcentury heyday. The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, which fetes Kim Novak (Stewart’s object of pernicious desire) at its annual fundraising bash later this spring, convenes Cunningham and four of his learned authors at the Presidio for a midday conversation about sunny locations and pitch-black plots. Watch your step -- it’s a long way down.
Sat., April 7, 2 p.m., 2012