Before Robert Mapplethorpe captured the curves and crevasses of grungy NY beauties and Bruce Weber snapped chiseled hunks for the likes of Vogue and Calvin Klein, there was another Bruce —Bruce Bellas. Or as you may know him if you’re up on your queer history, Bruce of Los Angeles.
In 1947, Bruce of Los Angeles started photographing the male physique in order to assist artists in accurately rendering the form. Or at least that’s the story everyone stuck to.
By skirting around harsh censorship laws, artists like BoLA paved the way for mainstream homoerotic body worship, something we at Queerty know very little about.
Since there seemed to be so many artists in dire need of a steady stream of “inspiration,” Bruce launched Male Figure Magazine in 1956 and continued to immortalize his bronzed demigods through the ’50s and ’60s. If you can manage to get your hands on these vintage treasures, you’ll surely have the best coffee table material of any of your friends.
How do the manties of yesteryear compare next to their modern counterparts?