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Dear Friends : American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918

Deitcher, David

57 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0810957124 / ISBN 13: 9780810957121
Published by Abrams, N Y, 2001
Condition: Fine / Near Mint Hardcover
From Penobscot Books (Searsport, ME, U.S.A.)

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Fine, near Mint book with Mint DJ, now with new Mylar protection. //. Bookseller Inventory # 008028

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dear Friends : American Photographs of Men ...

Publisher: Abrams, N Y

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine / Near Mint

Dust Jacket Condition: Mint

About this title


A groundbreaking presentation of rarely seen photographs, history, social observation, and pictorial analysis provides an entirely new perspective on male friendship in the nineteenth century and suggests a surprisingly broad-minded attitude toward physical intimacy between men. Inside Out, QPB, & Reader's Subscription.


Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918 collects more than 100 portraits--from daguerreotypes to cartes des visites and early photographic postcards--depicting affectionate male friendships whose precise nature, whether platonic or sexual, will never be known. Editor David Deitcher, who teaches art and critical theory at the Cooper Union, reflects on the history of these images and their possible significance. In the late Victorian period, he notes, men commonly established intimate, passionate friendships with other men, and often "posed for photographers holding hands, entwining limbs, or resting in the shelter of each other's accommodating bodies, innocent of the suspicion that such behavior would later arouse." These photographs have long been collected by gay men, for whom they are vehicles of longing "for the self-validation that comes from having a history to refer to; longing for a comforting sense of connection with others--past as well as present--whose experience mirrors one's own." Nevertheless, Deitcher reminds readers, because almost all the subjects of these photographs are anonymous, "they are powerless to communicate anything more than the following: This is how these men looked on that day when they sat for the photographer." But what these photographs prove is ultimately far less interesting or engaging than what they are: tender, funny, strange relics of a time when public expressions of love between men were freer and more natural than they are in our own ostensibly more liberated age. --Michael Joseph Gross

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