A series of vintage gay erotic photographs thought to be lost will soon be exhibited at an Australian art gallery.
Next month Colville Gallery will open the “Royale Hussar Out of the Dark – The Lost Images” exhibition, which features the 20th century photography of British artists Basil Clavering and John Parkhurst from their Royale and Hussar photography studios.
The two men ran the two studios, specialising in bodybuilder images and military themes, producing photo sets and stories that were advertised in specialist magazines and sold through mail order.
Clavering and Parkhurst took the new exhibition’s photos from the early 1950s to the mid 1960s, and depict bodybuilders, men in uniform, and military discipline, reflecting the look of the drawings of iconic gay artist Tom of Finland from the same era.
They used authentic uniforms and props, representing Guardsmen, the Royal Horse Artillery, Navy and Army men, and many of the models were also active military personnel they’d Clavering met in public houses by the local barracks.
The images were passed down from the original photographers to Tasmanians Michael Carnes and Robert Lavis, and they’ve been meticulously restored for display in this exhibition. The images are all for sale.
The Royal Hussar: Out of the Dark exhibition opens at the Colville Gallery in Tasmania on June 10 until June 29. For details, visit the Colville Gallery’s website.