LGBTQ+ Art, Literature and Historical Ephemera Auctioned at Swann

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Works of art and photographs, 19th and 20th century publications, manuscripts, posters and more are set to go up for auction on August 18.

Swann Galleries’ LGBTQ+ Art, Material Culture and History sale goes up for auction on Thursday, August 18. In its fourth iteration and entering its fifth year, the sale continues to spotlight artists, creatives and community activists.

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 present day, feature various zines and pamphlets; a 1971 guide to the gay bar scene in North America; a rare sign reading “Gays Are American Citizens Too” at the 1969 Annual Remembrance Day in Philadelphia; a vernacular photograph circa the early 1950s of two men at the Night Owl Bar; as well as posters promoting gay pride and liberation, RuPaul drag shows and AIDS awareness.

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

Literature highlights include Oscar Wilde Dorian Gray’s photo (1891) — one of 250 original copies signed by the author and bound in full modern red morocco by Robert Wu in 2019 — and an autograph letter from 1893 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 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 the Swann Galleries auction on August 18, 2022.

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