Men Embracing and Grabbing Buttocks

Leon Levinstein, American, 1910 - 1988

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20th century

Gelatin silver print

Image: 13 11/16 × 10 7/16 in. (34.8 × 26.5 cm)

Sheet: 14 × 11 in. (35.6 × 27.9 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Harley and Stephen C. Osman, Class of 1956, Tuck 1957

© Estate of Leon Levinstein, Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

PH.2001.9.85

Geography

Place Made: United States, North America

Period

20th century

Object Name

Photograph

Research Area

Photograph

On view

Inscriptions

Stamped, on reverse, in blue ink, lower right: [in rectangle] LEON LEVINSTEIN; inscribed, in graphite, above stamp: SO-LL-13

Label

Warmth exudes from two men as they embrace, sandwiched within a packed crowd. One man—overcome with joy—laughs as he grabs the other man by the butt to pull him closer. The other man’s bare skin fills most of the frame, his pants pulled down to mid-thigh. This public display of affection certainly feels sexual, yet in an exuberant way that projects emotional closeness as well.

Levinstein is known for his street photography in New York City throughout the 1960s and 1970s, where he blended in among the masses to capture raw humanity within urban life. This image was taken in New Orleans in 1976, the layered beaded necklaces indicating a celebration of Mardi Gras. Amidst the height of the gay liberation movement of the 1970s, the photo is bursting with energy, speaking to Levinstein’s penchant for capturing such ephemeral, emotional moments.

From the 2024 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 119, Embracing Vulnerability: Gay Intimacy in the Context of AIDS, curated by Colin Donnelly '24, Class of 1954 Intern

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 119, Embracing Vulnerability: Gay Intimacy in the Context of AIDS, Colin Donnelly '24, Class of 1954 Intern, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 13 - September 1, 2024.

Provenance

Osman Family Partnership; Harley and Stephen Osman, Stamford, Connecticut; given to present collection, 2001.

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