LGBTQ+ Art, Literature, and Historical Ephemera Up for Auction at Swann

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Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.

Swann Galleries’ LGBTQ+ Art, Material Culture & History sale is at auction on Thursday, August 18. In its fourth iteration and Entering the fifth year, the sale continues to Spotlight artists, creatives, and activists from the community.

Ephemera celebrating LGBTQ+ life and history, as well as material from the early years of the gay Liberation movement in the United States through the current era, featuring various zines and pamphlets; a 1971 guide to the gay bar scene across North America; a rare placard reading “Homosexuals are American Citizens Also” from the 1969 Annual Reminder day in Philadelphia; a vernacular photograph circa the early 1950s of two men at the Night Owl Bar; as well as posters promoting Pride and Gay Liberation, RuPaul drag shows, and AIDS awareness.

Among the fine art on offer are original works and prints by Tom of Finland, including Portrait of Eric (1985) — which comes to auction accompanied by two Autograph letters signed by Finland — and Keith Haring prints. Artists associated with or influenced by Tom of Finland include Sadao Hasegawa, George Quaintance, Rex, and Etienne. Also available is a contemporary work by Andrew Lamar Hopkins; a run of oil works by Hugh Steers; and a section of Photographs that includes important prints by Peter Hujar, Nan Goldin, JEB, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Patricia Coffie.

Literature Highlights include Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) — one of 250 original copies signed by the author and re-bound in modern full red Morocco by Robert Wu in 2019 — and an 1893 Autograph letter signed by the author offering a friend’s daughter a minor role in Lady Windermere’s Fan. Also available are a selection of gay and lesbian pulp fiction novels from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as titles by Radclyffe Hall, Magnus Hirschfeld, and Tennessee Williams among others.

Visit to learn more about Swann Galleries’ auction on August 18, 2022.

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