Hommage a Nusch, Man Ray 1937

This sketch is by Man Ray, dated 1937.  According to Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli, it is based on a photograph he took of Paul Eluard‘s wife, Nusch, with Sonia Mosse.  This one, I think.  There is another series of photographs of Nusch with a woman named Ady Fidelin that you should definitely go search for.     p 131

"Hommage a Nusch," Man Ray, 1937

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Baigneuses, Paul Tillier c. 1890s

I had higher hopes for Tell Me, Pretty Maiden: The Victorian and Edwardian Nude, because if we’ve learned nothing so far we have at least learned that male artists love to put two naked women together in pictures and call it art.  Sometimes they even pretend that it’s classical mythology and call it Jupiter and Callisto.

Alas, Tell Me, Pretty Maiden is pretty much devoid of any interesting old images.  The only one coming close is this Baigneuses by Paul Tiller.  The book dates it to the 1890s, but I’m not so sure about that.  If any fellow costume historians are reading this, feel free to suggest an alternate date.

I have mixed feelings about classing images of women bathing together as homoerotic.  On the one hand- women used to bathe together all the time, often out of necessity, and certainly innocently before Krafft-Ebing got to them.  On the other hand, the women in many of these images look like they’ve been having more fun than just splashing around in the water.

Les Masculines, 1922

I feel terrible for forgetting where I got this image.  It was recently, too.  So I apologize to whomever I took this from for not crediting you.

This is from the French fashion periodical Gazette du Bon Ton (Currently there is an exhibit at Kent University Museum, ending May 30, 2010).

What I love is that the women have adopted riding clothes as their masculine-styled costume.  This makes sense.  Since the 18th century, women’s riding habits had been the first type of clothing to consistently borrow from male costume.  These women in 1922 would have been shocking, but not nearly as shocking as if they had worn everyday male dress.

Gazette du Bon Ton, 1922

Mike Cockrill

A friend passed me a copy of Artforum May 2009 XLVII Vol 9. It was filled (surprise!) with lesbian imagery. My favorite is this painting, First Love by Mike Cockrill.

First Love by Mike Cockrill

This guy is full of pre-pubescent lesbian images. A tiny bit disturbing, but mostly beautiful and full of memories.