Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love, 1850-1950 portrays the history of romantic love between men in hundreds of moving and tender vernacular photographs taken between the years 1850 and 1950.
Readers are introduced to the photographic narrative by the contribution of Paolo Maria Noseda, as well as a text by Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell, a Texan couple residing in New York who, for over twenty years, have been collecting photographs that bear witness to romantic love between men.
This visual narrative of astonishing sensitivity brings to light an until-now-unpublished collection of hundreds of snapshots, portraits, and group photos taken in the most varied of contexts, both private and public.
Taken when male partnerships were often illegal, the photos here were found at flea markets, in shoe boxes, family archives, old suitcases, and later online and at auctions.
The collection now includes photos from all over the world: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Japan, Greece, Latvia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Serbia.
The subjects were identified as couples by that unmistakable look in the eyes of two people in love – impossible to manufacture or hide. They were also recognised by body language – evidence as subtle as one hand barely grazing another – and by inscriptions, often coded.
Included here are ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, glass negatives, tin types, cabinet cards, photo postcards, photo strips, photomatics, and snapshots – over 100 years of social history and the development of photography.
Loving is produced to the highest standards in illustrated book publishing, The photographs – many fragile from age or handling – have been digitised using a technology derived from that used on surveillance satellites and available in only five places around the world.
In these delight-filled pages, couples in love tell their own story for the first time at a time when joy and hope – indeed human connectivity – are crucial lifelines to our better selves. Universal in reach and overwhelming in impact, Loving speaks to our spirit and resilience, our capacity for bliss, and our longing for the shared truths of love.
Native Texans, collectors Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell are arts professional currently living in New York City. Their collection has grown over a period of 20 years to include over 2700 images.
Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love, 1850-1950 is published by Antique Collectors Agencies and available from all leading book retailers including Booktopia.
Image: Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love, 1850-1950 (supplied)