Monday, March 30, 2009

Dear Friends at Kulturhuset

When I saw the subway poster for the current "Dear Friends" exhibition, I was floored: more proof that it's a small, small world. 

(This isn't the subway poster, but it's close.) 

You see, when I first got an editorial assistant job at Abrams in 2002, Dear Friends had just been published, and it was one of our most popular gay-interest books. 

I've always been fascinated by this book--basically, a collection of images (daguerrotypes, photographs, etc.) from the turn of the 20th century showing men in incredibly affectionate poses. So it's not a gay book, exactly. (But it is, really.) It's fascinating to think how quickly culture changes, that we really don't have a good way of understanding what these images mean.

When my friends David and Eli got married, I used one of those daguerrotype images as inspiration for the wedding gift I painted:

Later, when I was putting together Gay America, I was superpsyched to have the opportunity to share a few of the images that haunted me: 

(Go on, get out your copy, they're on pages 12 and 13.)

(And also this image of Walt Whitman with his "friend" Pete Doyle, from page 18.)

I didn't realize that the collection was ever even displayed as an exhibition, and the fact that it followed me here to Sweden makes me very happy indeed. Plus it was so gratifying to see Stockholmers there, all fascinated by these intricate, curious little windows into a history we may never fully understand.

And if you go to the exhibition--and you should--don't forget to go see Loretta's creepy children upstairs!

At the very least, you can bring your own dear friends to simply enjoy the view from her exhibit.


  1. It was a lovely exhibit... heart-wrenching in its way, sweet and sad, as old photographs usually are, but for us homosexualists, somehow sweeter and sadder.

  2. I wish I was there for you to show me dearest.