Cultural Critic Allen Ellenzweig


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Date/Time
Date(s) - Wednesday, March 2, 2022
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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Join us on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 6:30 pm for a ZOOM conversation with cultural critic Allen Ellenzweig. Presented in conversation with SNMA Executive Director Hunter O’Hanian, Allen will discuss his latest book, George Platt Lynes: The Daring Eye.

The event is free, open to the public, and conducted via ZOOM.
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About Allen Ellenzweig

Allen Ellenzweig is a cultural critic and commentator who has published in numerous arts and general interest periodicals, including The Village Voice and Art in America, as well as the online journals TabletThe Forward, and Poetry Magazine. His landmark history, The Homoerotic Photograph: Male Images from Durieu/Delacroix to Mapplethorpe, was published in 1992. He is a regular contributor to the Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide and teaches in the Writing Program of Rutgers University.

Book Synopsis

George Platt Lynes: The Daring Eye is a life of the gregarious American photographer whose career spanned the late 1920s to 1955. Aged 18, Lynes entered the world of the American expatriates in Paris when he became acquainted with the salon of Gertrude Stein. Intending to pursue a literary career, Lynes also photographed authors like Stein, Jean Cocteau, and Colette. Soon, he focused on photography, became a fashion photographer for Condé Nast, documented the ballets of George Balanchine, and privately photographed young male nudes, pictures almost never published in his time. Lynes’s social life was as glamorous and theatrical as his images. Barely out of his teens, he met publisher Monroe Wheeler who was already allied with the expatriate novelist Glenway Wescott. First traveling between France and New York, the threesome maintained an intimate connection lasting some 15 years. Their New York apartment became a mecca for elegant cocktail parties and name-dropping dinners. Their ménage-à-trois complicates our understanding of the pre-Stonewall gay “closet.” This biography, drawing upon intimate letters and an unpublished memoir of Lynes by his brother, Russell Lynes, portrays the emerging influence of gays and lesbians in the arts that defined transatlantic cosmopolitan culture and presaged later gay political activism.