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'Gay Art: From Ancient to Modern' opens June 23 at World Erotic Art Museum in South Beach

News release from the esteemed Charles Cinnamon:

For more interesting samples from the exhibit, scroll down.

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GAY ART: FROM ANCIENT TO MODERN, TO HIGHLIGHT WORK OF PIONEERING PHOTOGRAPHER WILHELM VON GLOEDEN IN SUMMER EXHIBIT OPENING JUNE 23 THROUGH JULY 27 AT THE WORLD EROTIC ART MUSEUM

MIAMI BEACH---In an interesting move to add provocative artistic heat to an already sweltering summer, owner/collector Naomi Wilzig has searched through her vast collection to introduce a fresh look at GAY ART: FROM ANCIENT TO MODERN at an extended exhibit, Monday, June 23 through Sunday, July 27, at the World Erotic Art Museum, 1205 Washington Avenue. An opening reception will be held Monday, June 23, from 7 P.M. to 10 P.M.

Tracking gay and lesbian art from the earliest days of Greece to the modern world of Mapplethorpe and Haring, anticipated to be among the major highlights of the exhibit will be selected works of photographer Wilhelm Von Gloeden who, from 1890-1914, became the pioneering force in bringing nude homoerotic photography to the eyes of an accepting public.

Born in 1856 at Volkshagen Castle in Wismar to a socially prominent family, Von Gloeden’s early interest as a student of art history changed dramatically when a developing lung condition took him to recuperate at the Sicilian town of Taorina, which at the time was at its height of international popularity as the center of sophisticated society.

An exhibit of his work at the Royal Photographic Society and “Linked Rings,” the London Society of Art Photography was to bring Von Gloeden to the attention of the Archduke Frederick lll of Meckenburg-Schwerin who presented him with a large formal plate camera. His earlier shared interest in nude photography with the Naples photographer Wilhelm von Pluschow was to result in his most productive body of work in which he sought to convey his vision of a golden age before the dawn of civilization. Through the eye of his camera, Von Gloeden captured the essence of innocence through “tableaux vivants,” specially designed set pieces featuring nude portraits of young men.

Von Gloeden stopped taking photos in 1930, the year he died at age 74. In 1933, a thousand glass plates were confiscated and destroyed by Fascist police. The remaining collection of 800 plates and 200 albumin prints, which were in the care of Von Gloeden’s assistant Pancracio Bucini, remain in the archives of Lucio Amelio in Naples.

In addition to the work of Von Gloeden and the photography of such contemporary icons as Robert Mapplethorpe and Keith Haring, on display will be paintings, statues, and objects d’art drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, including the art of the phallus as seen through the eyes of such distinguished artists as Aubrey Beardsley.

The World Erotic Art Museum is located at 1205 Washington Avenue. Open seven days from 11 A.M. to Midnight, admission is $15 per person. Further information is available by calling (305) 532-9336 or online at www.weam.com.

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