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Bel Ami Helps Preserve The Beefcake Legacy Of Athletic Model Guild’s Bob Mizer

After he died in 1992, the extensive archives of Bob Mizer, founder of the legendary pre-Stonewall beefcake factory Athletic Model Guild, were unceremoniously chucked in a dumpster—letters, photos, props and personal items reflecting nearly five decades of Mizer’s work enshrining the male form at a time when such activity was taboo, if not illegal.

Fortunately, the bulk of Mizer’s actual work—about a million negatives and miles of 16mm film—has survived, and now the Bob Mizer Foundation is working to preserve and promote this vast collection.  European porn company Bel Ami (NSFW) just announced a $5,000 contribution to the foundation’s campaign.

“In many respects, Mr. Mizer and people like him have made it possible for me to do what I have been doing for 20 years now as of this year,” says Bel Ami founder G.Duroy.  “It goes without saying that the idea of  preserving his early works is a valid and honorable  task that I am happy to help make happen.”

Mizer was a true pioneer, reflecting and directing the iconography of gay-male attraction. The influence of his work can be seen even now in mainstream magazine spreads and advertising, and his expert eye captured provocative poses by hustlers, average Joes, porn performers—even future governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s hard to imagine but, in 1947, Mizer was convicted of distributing obscene materials through the mail and served a yearlong prison sentence. Keep in mind these were just black-and-white photos of bodybuilders in posing straps. You’d see worse in a Target circular today.

So the next time you flip through an erotic coffee-table book or scan your favorite porn movie, take a moment to remember Bob. And hey, if you want to learn more about the Bob Mizer Foundation’s campaign, or make a donation yourself, visit its KickStarter page.

 


 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jun 28, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 8 Comments
    • Brandon
      Brandon

      Why did they throw out the very personal stuff?

      Jun 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ron
      Ron

      @Brandon:

      An explanation, if not an actual reason, is given in his bio on the foundation site: http://www.bobmizer.org/bob-mizer/biography/

      Jun 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Brandon: Personal belongings are often thrown away when someone dies, especially when it’s not family who inherits, and as for the work, it sounds like it wasn’t the work he produced that was tossed, but only the stuff he used in making it. Sets, particularly, are often junked once they’re no longer being used, unless another need turns up first. (For a famous instance, see the burning of Atlanta in Gone With The Wind.)

      Jun 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kaobini
      kaobini

      good

      Jun 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kaobini
      kaobini

      For a famous instance, see the burning of Atlanta in Gone With The Wind.

      w w w.t r ad e m i c h a e l k o r s.c o m /michael-kors-bedford-c-1.html

      Jun 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miss Manners
      Miss Manners

      If AMG had focused on archiving from the beginning rather than making Brazilian movies nobody watched they wouldn’t be broke.

      Jun 29, 2012 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JayUVA
      JayUVA

      It seems hard to comprehend that Mizer risked being put in prison for those rather tame non-sexual photos. I think they tried to charge him with using the US Postal Svc to distribute them, if I remember correctly, not the nudity itself. Seems less crazy when I remember that Calif porn producer Max Hardcore is currently serving a 4 yr sentence for sending his str8 porn via US Postal Svc.

      Jun 30, 2012 at 2:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • den
      den

      @Miss Manners: Sweetie Miss Manners, your input is appreciated, but so uninformed and wrong. Revenue from the extremely successful Brazilian movies has been what has paid for the archiving of Mizer’s estate this far. Glad you are not our bookkeeper.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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