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Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes Hardcover – April 14, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Universe; First Edition edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789318660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789318664
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Uncovered offers a veritable smorgasbord of ‘rare vintage male nudes’…From the advances in the quality of the photography to the evolution of the models’ haircuts, the book functions, in a nontraditional way, as a survey of the changing fashions of the 20th century – minus, of course, the actual fashions." ~Metro Source

Uncovered, culled from private collections, closed archives and the deepest recesses of censorship in American history, an exceptional collection of dramatic and sexy images defined by aesthetic sensibilities ranging from the starkly classicist to the frankly erotic.” ~GayWired.com

“Massengill’s precise essays provide historical context and critical insight, making Uncovered that rare collection of male nudes with copy as engaging as the pics. They should’ve called it Unexpected.” ~ModernTonic.com

"Reed Massengill's book Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes reveals a treasure trove of images by famous shutterbugs of the not-so-innocent
’30s, ’40s and ’50s." ~Time Out New York

About the Author

Reed Massengill is a photographer and writer whose work has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for biography. He has authored and edited several books, including Self-Exposure: The Male Nude Self-Portrait and The Male Ideal: Lon of New York and the Masculine Physique. Victor Skrebneski is celebrated as one of the world’s finest fashion and portrait photographers. His published books include Five Beautiful Women.

Customer Reviews

It has large photos of beautiful guys, generally full on exposure.
Sam nChicago
Reed Massengill continues to gather images and historical data that enhance his own very fine books of photography of the male nude.
Grady Harp
Anyone who admires the male form will find it a pleasure to add to their collection of books.
Mark Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reed Massengill continues to gather images and historical data that enhance his own very fine books of photography of the male nude. In UNCOVERED: RARE VINTAGE MALE NUDES he has gathered the works by ten brave men who had the courage to create images of the nude male before the censorship by the publishing firms changed following the 1969 Stonewall turnaround. While some of the photographers included in this monograph are well known and bridged that hiatus separating forbidden and completely accepted work, there are also 'new faces' whose work demands attention.

The 'uncovered male nudes' in this collection are often only partially revealed, as in the photographs by George Platt Lynes (1907 - 1955): positioning and shadows protect the eye form the full model image. Don Whitman (1916 - 1998) worked with body builders and carefully used the 'posing strap' to prevent viewer disdain. Likewise Al Urban (1917 - 1992) and Earle Forbes (1897 - 1970) focused on the posing Greek ideal for their Physique Images.

But with Plato (1925 - 2003) and John Shreeve Barrington (1920 - 1991) the element of eroticism in the art of male nude photography opened some doors: models were captured more in the privacy of the wild then in the studio and the freedom of posing choices expanded, but still with a sense of restraint. The images of Antonio Arabia (1931 - 1993) are more natural (models in the woodlands) and in many ways more erotic, and the images by Vulcan (b. 1921) and Robert Galster (1923 - 1991) invite the viewer to become involved in the scenario. Many of these images have never been published and Massengill provides a welcome bridge between the art of the male nude as popularized by the many practitioners of excellence today.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sam nChicago on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book. It has large photos of beautiful guys, generally full on exposure. Some of the poses are definitely period driven but some of them are outside. Over all the guys just look very good (not super models by today's standards) and are the types of guys you're much more likely to come across in a real world situation. Plus they're not manscaped, thankfully!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jim s. "computer man" on December 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you remember those "Physique" magazines of the 1950's -- and even if you don't -- you will relish these pre-Stonewall nudes. Beautifully put together, this book of daring photos recalls a bygone era when the male nude was suppressed. The hunky models are photographed in a variety of settings -- everything from rugged outdoor shots to dramatic studio portraits. In retrospect, some of the picture are amusing while others are classical.

Here is a collection of over 100 vintage picture by 10 photographers that will delight both old and new generations. Any connoisseur of the male nude will love this book!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark Rice on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Reed Massengill has scored another triumph in "Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes" Not only does he show us little known works by artists we are familiar with, he introduces us to several artists that many of us may not have heard of - or if heard of, not have seen any work before this. The work is beautiful, often lyrical, and Mr. Massengill's introduction to each artist and his work helps us understand how and under what circumstances these photographers labored. Anyone who collects photographs of the male image will find this indispensable. Anyone who admires the male form will find it a pleasure to add to their collection of books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Lewis VINE VOICE on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection of male nudes from the physique pictorial era of the 1940s and 50s presents photos of what its editor explains are from lesser known photographers of that genre. They have the hallmarks of that form, particularly its classicism and theatricality. The photos are well chosen. The scenes are well-constructed by the photographers, and the models exude a calm, masculine beauty and candor that immediately jumps off the page. The male physique pictorial photography of this era was, of course, highly scripted. Those interested in innovation or uniqueness will not appreciate this or similar collections. But like Byzantine icons the beauty in this art form is the artists' ability to stimulate an emotional response and bring a subtle individualism through the strictures and protocols of a defined classicism.

There are two exceptional features of this collection. The first is the short histories of each of the ten photographers' lives and work, many of whom are completely forgotten by all except a handful of dedicated collectors of male physique photography. The recounting of how the images created by these men who loved men and the male body were rescued for almost certain destruction, and how the photographers themselves were persecuted for creating and sharing these photos is deeply moving and historically important to tell. The second noteworthy feature is that the book has fairly high production values for its price-range. There has been a new wave of reproduction of vintage male erotica in recent years, and the qualities of such books vary enormously. While "Uncovered" does not have the same production values of a high-end coffee-table collection put out by a big publishing house, the paper on which the photos are printed is good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Reed Massengill is a widely published writer and photographer whose work spans the genres of biography (The Art of George Quaintance, Taschen, 2010, and Portrait of a Racist, St. Martin's Press, 1994); corporate history (Becoming American Express, American Express Publishing, 2000); and photography (Brian: A Nine-Year Photographic Diary, FotoFactory Press, 2000, Massengill Men, Bruno Gmunder Verlag, 1997; and Massengill, St. Martin's Press, 1996). He is currently completing his first film-related book, entitled Inspiration: Greta Garbo's Seven Classic Film Collaborations with Director Clarence Brown (University of Tennessee Press, 2016).

As a collector, curator and editor, he has produced a number of photographic anthologies and monographs, including Uncovered: Rare Vintage Male Nudes (Rizzoli/Universe Publishing, 2009), Self-Exposure: The Male Nude Self-Portrait (Rizzoli/Universe Publishing, 2005), The Male Ideal: Lon of New York and the Masculine Physique (Rizzoli/Universe Publishing, 2003), Champion (Goliath Verlag, 2003), and Roy Blakey's '70s Male Nudes (Goliath Verag, 2001).

An award-winning writer, Massengill's work has been translated into nine languages. His work is included in the anthologies 1960s Gay Pulp Fiction: The Misplaced Heritage (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013) and Voices from the Valley (Knoxville Writers' Guild, 1994). Over the years, his celebrity profiles, freelance features and book and music reviews have appeared in a broad range of both important and obscure publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Interview, Essence, Forbes, Connoisseur, Jazziz, Swim, Tennessee Business, HomeOwner, Straight to Hell, Vice, Paramour, and even Cowboy magazine. For a number of years, he served as a contributing editor to the magazines Art & Understanding, Flatiron News, and the Australian fine art photography magazines (Not Only) Blue and Black+White.

As a photographer, Massengill's images have been widely published and exhibited in the United States and abroad. In addition to three monographs of his own work, his photographs are included in a number of important photographic anthologies, including Out of the Dark Room: The David Kronn Collection (Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2011), The Nude Male: 21st Century Visions (Rizzoli/Universe Publishing, 2008), Treasures of Gay Art from the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation (All Saints Press, 2008), The Romantic Male Nude (Abrams, 2007), The Penis Book (Broadway Books/Random House, 2004), Male Nude Now (Rizzoli/Universe Publishing, 2001), Exposed: A Celebration of the Male Nude from 90 of the World's Greatest Photographers (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2000), and three anthologies from FotoFactory Press, Male Bonding II (1998), Uniforms (1998), and Beasts (1997).

He is an avid collector of vintage male nude photography, particularly images from the era of classic physique photography. Because of his numerous books on the subject, his broad knowledge of the field and his extensive library and research files, museums, gallery owners, auction houses, photography dealers and private collectors frequently seek his advice when acquiring images, conducting research or seeking attribution.

On Facebook, he is Britton Reed Massengill. On eBay, as a seller of vintage male photographs and ephemera, he is titanusgallery. He can be reached by E-mail at reedmass@gmail.com.

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