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Private P/Arts      March-April 2015
  • Henry8-Holbein-copy-174x300

    The Codpiece: Life and Times

    YOU’VE ALL SEEN THEM—that pommel in the dress of Henry VIII and others—prominent, like something to rest your hand on, dependable, serviceable: the codpiece. Where did it come from and where did it go? There are various opinions; here are some of them.

  • The Enigma

    An English Martyr

    “BASED ON A TRUE STORY” are probably the most ominous words in film, but that’s what flashes across the screen at the opening of The Imitation Game, the new biopic about the British mathematician Alan Turing.

  • Ted Olson and David Boies wearing “politically correct” tie colors.

    The Mainstreaming of Marriage Equality

    Redeeming the Dream traces how [Theodore Olson] and David Boies moved from being adversaries to being friends, how they were hired by the newly formed American Foundation for Equal Rights to lead the court fight against Proposition 8, and how they again argued a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court

  • Stone City, Iowa, 1930. Oil on wood panel. Estate of Grant Wood, New York, NY.

    Grant Wood’s Glimmerglass Surprise

    The cover art for the 2012 season [of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival] was Grant Wood’s Stone City, Iowa—one of those charmingly stylized landscapes of his that have had such broad influence on children’s book illustration and fantasy film design.

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Aaron Schock’s Fall: A Star Is Born

The time has come to bid farewell to Congressman Aaron Schock, the Illinois Republican who’s no stranger to this column due to his flamboyant style and his horrible voting record on GLBT issues. Schock abruptly resigned from the House in March after various irregularities of a financial nature were disclosed. There were padded expense accounts [...]

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The Beautiful People of the Belle Époque

  Few periods in French history are as glittering and vibrant as the Belle Époque, the prosperous decades of peace between France’s ignominious defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1871) and the carnage of the Great War (1914-18). We are still awed by the urban achievements of the period: Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s monumental remodeling of Paris was [...]

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OH YES HE IS!

THE LATEST éclat in the annals of pop cultural fireworks has come and gone: a TLC reality show called My Husband’s Not Gay that focused on four Mormon men who were married to women despite having a history of attraction to other men. Social media hyped the special as some kind of cultural breakthrough, while [...]

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A Gay Night at the Oscars

BY MONDAY NIGHT, the details of the best and worst Oscar gowns will have been picked clean like so many chicken bones. But Lupita Nyong’o certainly made a statement with a Calvin Klein gown assembled from 6,000 pearls. The ABC Red Carpet coverage went off mostly without incident under the auspices of Robin Roberts. Still, [...]

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Double Your Lies

Another soldier in the church-sponsored war on gay equality! The new operation is called Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays—PFOX, not to be confused with FPOX—an obvious take-off on PFLAG, Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays. So, they recently put up a billboard in Richmond,Virginia, that featured two identical-looking men and the words, “Identical Twins: One gay. [...]

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James Baldwin Comes Alive in Restored Film Classic

JAMES BALDWIN came alive as never before in Karen Thorsen’s documentary James Baldwin: The Price Of The Ticket, first released in 1990 and rereleased on its 25th anniversary in a newly restored print. Doubly enhanced by the collaboration of the late Maya Angelou, who provided live readings of Baldwin’s work and acted as scholar–advisor for the [...]

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