e.g. The Bergmann Collection
This collection of tens of thousands of slides comes to the Museum from William Bergmann, one-time publisher of the softcore journal Velvet, open a window on our local industry – the promotional tours, convention appearances, the sexy costume and amateur strip contests, the porn shoots and swingers conventions that comprised the swinging ’70s and beyond. Long-abandoned outposts of the extended sex industry – the mud wrestling pits of East Hollywood, adult film premieres, male strip clubs filled with frenzied bachelorettes – are lovingly captured as evolutionary offshoots of the commercialization of desire.
With an unflinching naturalism, these photos depict the ambassadors of Hollywood-branded sexual ideal, its evangelists and missionaries, to offer an unedited (albeit no less staged) look at both professionals in their downtime and civilian advocates in their finest hour. By turns outrageous, ironic and poignant, these images depict the self-appointed front-line soldiers of the sexual revolution – part-Vargas, part-Arbus – in all their self-reflexive glory.
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