Long before Bruce Weber or Herb Ritts picked up a camera, there was a photographer whose images glorified the male nude. But Alonzo Hanagan, better known as Lon of New York, was working during the 1940s and 1950s, when images of the male nude were not just illicit but illegal. Twice, his studio was raided and his negatives destroyed by police. Many of the images in this book thus exist only as prints purchased by collectors at the time.
Now, for the first time in more than forty years, these photos are published in one comprehensive collection that recovers this lost body of work. Suffused with a coy playfulness and a naïve vulnerability, these erotic images of men evoke a time of greater innocence but also of greater suppression, revealing much about gay history and the history of photography.