A mini-symposium co-sponsored by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department and the LGBTQ Center at Wake Forest University. Presentations include:
J.C. Leyendecker's Queer American Icons, Jennifer Greenhill
Situating Leyendecker’s production in relation to that of other celebrated illustrators of his day—such as Coles Phillips, Norman Rockwell, and Jessie Willcox Smith—Greenhill will identify the distinctive characteristics of the Leyendecker brand, which made the artist a star in the 1920s but fell out of fashion by the 1940s. Looking across Leyendecker’s diverse bodies of work, she will explore his covert and sometimes humorous methods for queering the heteronormative social regimes around which his work for a mainstream market necessarily revolved. Greenhill is an associate professor of Art History at the University of Southern California.
How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement, David K. Johnson
Leyendecker and others in the first half of the twentieth century conveyed a coded gay sensibility in their work. Like that earlier generation photographers, illustrators, and publishers that followed also faced censorship. Examining notions of gender and sexuality in American politics between 1951 and 1967, Johnson will focus on the post-War businesses and networks created by American physique photographers and artists. Johnson is an associate professor of History at the University of South Florida.
Image: J.C. Leyendecker, "Record Time, Cool, Summer Comfort," oil on canvas. c 1920.© 2019 National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI. Photo courtesy American Illustrators Gallery, New York, NY.