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Day, F. Holland (1864-1933)  
page: 1  2  

Thus, while the impetus behind Day's work was largely homoerotic, it is impossible neatly to divorce or totally reconcile the artist's sexuality with the intellectual, cultural, and moral attitudes that characterize the fin de siècle.

In 1912, Day built a large house, which he called "The Chateau," on Little Good Harbor, Five Islands, Maine. Day conceived of Little Good Harbor as his own Arcadia, where he made many images of nude youths lounging amidst its picturesque landscape. Along with a cadre of other photographers, Day--white, affluent, educated, and well-connected--hosted there a number of impoverished boys, many of them immigrant workers from the urban slums of Boston. In addition to being Day's guests and enjoying a kind of summer camp, these boys modeled for Day's pagan compositions.

While Day is known to have taken philanthropic pride in mentoring many of the boys, training them in the craft of photography and preening them for social mobility, it is equally conceivable that his interest in poor immigrant boys and boys of color had to do with their social docility as well as their "exotic" beauty.

The conditions of his production are thus not without implications for the slanted power dynamics that often characterize erotic image-making and are further testimony to how the political climate of Day's time is manifest in his work.

Jason Goldman

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Berman, Patricia G. "F. Holland Day and His 'Classical' Models: Summer Camp." History of Photography 18.4 (Winter 1994): 348-367.

Clattenburg, Ellen Fritz. The Photographic Work of F. Holland Day. Wellesley, Mass.: Wellesley College Museum, 1975.

Crump, James. "F. Holland Day: 'Sacred' Subjects and 'Greek Love.'" History of Photography 18.4 (Winter 1994): 322-333.

Curtis, Verna Posever, and Jane Van Nimmen, eds. F. Holland Day, Selected Texts and Bibliography. New York: G. K. Hall, 1995.

Jussim, Estelle. Slave to Beauty: The Eccentric Life and Controversial Career of F. Holland Day, Photographer, Publisher, Aesthete. Boston: David R. Godine, 1981.

Waugh, Thomas. Hard to Imagine: Gay Male Eroticism in Photography and Film from Their Beginnings to Stonewall. New York: Columbia, 1996.


    Citation Information
    Author: Goldman, Jason  
    Entry Title: Day, F. Holland  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 29, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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