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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
In my vain attempt to find another link, I enclose Reginald Marsh’s ( 1898-1954), super sexy Coney Island.
Granted, a very weak link, but the painting is beautiful.
Perhaps my following image is the strongest link to the “Stag” theme.
Wm. Holbrook Beard
National Museum of Wildlife Art
Have a great day.