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.
Why did they throw out the very personal stuff?
An explanation, if not an actual reason, is given in his bio on the foundation site: http://www.bobmizer.org/bob-mizer/biography/
@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.)
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
If AMG had focused on archiving from the beginning rather than making Brazilian movies nobody watched they wouldn’t be broke.
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.
@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.
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