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Day, F. Holland (1864-1933)  
 
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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.

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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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arts >> Overview:  American Art: Gay Male, 1900-1969

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literature >> Overview:  Decadence

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arts >> Overview:  Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall

Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.

arts >> Overview:  Subjects of the Visual Arts: St. Sebastian

Sebastian's broad and long-standing presence in queer artistic production suggests that he functions as an emblem of the feelings of shame, rejection, inverted desire, and loneliness endured by queer people in a homophobic society.

arts >> Beardsley, Aubrey

English decadent and Symbolist artist Aubrey Beardsley made a lasting contribution to the art of illustration; a satirist with a gift for caricature and grotesquerie, Beardsley attacked Victorian sexual values.

arts >> Overview:  Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male

Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.

arts >> Gloeden, Wilhelm von, Baron

One of the earliest gay photographers of the male nude, Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden created images that evoke a dreamy vision of forbidden desire, while also raising questions about sexual tourism and kitsch.

literature >> Wilde, Oscar

Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.


    Bibliography
   

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 www.glbtq.com/arts/day_fh.html  
    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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