Archive for the George Bellows Category

Annual Fancy Dress Up Stag, and other naughty boys.

Posted in 19th cent., 20th century, Gay, George Bellows, Reginald Marsh on August 24, 2010 by babylonbaroque

In researching the last post, I stumbled upon an odd photo of handsome young men in costume, half in drag. All clearly having a lark . A very charming image, capturing what seemed to be great fun.

Annual Fancy Dress Up Stag

1904

Louisiana State University

Agricultural and Mechanical students

by Mc Carty (?)

As we live in the age of Foucault and his “sexuality as a construction”, we know we musn’t read too much into these dispalys of male bonding and play.

OK, I won’t read too much into this, but can I at least find the couple in the center adorable?

I understand the notion of identity, social construction, etc. etc. But this camaraderie is very endearing and  apparently tender; is it really possible that intimate  (romantic)feelings were not present. Perhaps wholly chaste, perhaps just “practice”for future marriages.

We are left with a mysterious  un-answerable glimpse into their youthful lives.

Again another detail of these young men at play. Clever costumes, but what’s with the hooded fellow?

Another question raised is the meaning of a “stag party”, this photograph seems to indicate a annual meeting of boys only, “in fancy dress”, celebrating what?

Today we generally associate “stag” parties with a  raunchy get together, the sole purpose being  the intention of “sowing one’s oats” for the last time. Always seemed sordid and un-romantic to me, but there you go. I frankly wasn’t comfortable presenting any of the images that popped up when I googled “stag”.

A final detail, more cute boys in dresses and their admirers in summer whites.

Although I found plenty of images of sordid gatherings , men acting badly with strippers in Craotia and Prague, I found no link to what this Louisiana gathering meant.

I resort to George Bellows ( 1882-1925) magnificent Stag at Sharkeys.

Stag at Sharkey’s

1909

In my vain attempt to find another link, I enclose Reginald Marsh’s ( 1898-1954), super sexy Coney Island.

Coney Island

1936

Granted, a very weak link, but the painting is beautiful.

Perhaps my following image is the strongest link to the “Stag” theme.

Majestic Stag

1873

Wm. Holbrook Beard

1824-1900

National Museum of Wildlife Art

Have a great day.