George Platt Lynes Silver Gelatin Photographs
George Platt Lynes (American, 1907–1955)
Untitled, mid-20th century
George Platt Lynes was a celebrated fashion photographer and is best known for his portraits of celebrities, artists, and male nudes many of which feature surrealist props, dramatic lighting, and suggestive content. After preliminary school, Lynes traveled to Paris and socialized with Man Ray, Gertrude Stein, and Julien Levy, among others. It was not until the late 1920s, after a short year at Yale University, that Lynes became interested in photography and began shooting photos of his friends. Thanks to his friendship with Levy, his work was exhibited and sold as fine art. Lynes went on to serve as the head of the Los Angeles studio for Vogue and photographed many celebrities such as Orson Welles, Katharine Hepburn, and others. When he returned to New York City, he established his studio and focused on male nudes and chronicling the newly established American Ballet Company, now the New York City Ballet. In the 1940s, he shot many photos of gay artists and writers, which caught the attention of Dr. Alfred Kinsey who was researching homosexuality in the United States at the time. As a result, many of Lynes’ homoerotic photos and archives were acquired by the Kinsey Institute after his death in 1955, however many of these works remained unknown until they were published later. Today, Lynes’ photographs are highly collected and exhibited internationally. His experimentation with homoerotic imagery influenced several renowned artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Herb Ritts. Some institutions that have exhibited and collected Lynes’ work include the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many others.
- deterioration to upper edge of one print; toning; accretion; wear to edges and corners; curling.