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
How many people do you think can fit inside of a snowman? About 20 to 30, if you’re at the California Academy of Sciences’ Planetary Exploration. As part of ’Tis the Season for Science, the museum put up an inflatable mini-planetarium in the piazza called the Snowman Theater. Using Google Earth software, the snowman-shaped contraption features two six-minute digital shows. One covers the science of snow, and it’s geared toward kids. The other explores finding ice and water — which are essential for supporting life — on planets located elsewhere in the universe. Google Earth allows us to take a close look at how seasonal phenomena such as the winter solstice affect life on our planet, and how life has adapted to Earth’s shenanigans. And if you look closely enough, maybe you’ll even get to see life on other planets.
Dec. 1-31, 2011