Archive | Art

Heroes Tour: A Tribute

For the past year, artist Doug Meyer has created fifty portraits of creative people who died of AIDS and AIDS-related causes in the 1980s and ’90s. For his Heroes Tour: A Tribute, Meyer explained that “I wanted to create something to introduce a younger audience to an entire generation of true innovators that laid the groundwork […]

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Shady Ladies

People often ask how I went from doing gay secrets tours to shady ladies. How did a gay historian get interested in the history of female prostitution? First of all, a gay historian works on the history of sexuality, so the history of heterosexuality is not very far away from his topic, intellectually speaking. But it has much […]

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Gay History All Over the World

  This week brought Oscar Wilde Tours a big honor: we won the Travvy silver award for best LGBT tour operator. Pretty amazing, when you think that we are just starting our second season! I think and hope it means that people in the travel industry find our concept exciting—gay travel focusing on gay history […]

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Antinous, the Gay God

OSCAR WILDE TOURS is in the middle of our gay history and art tour of Italy, and one thing we’re exploring is the extraordinary relationship between Hadrian, Emperor of Rome (AD 117–138) and his kept boy Antinous. Like the ancient Greeks, the Romans considered adolescent boys a natural object of attraction for an adult man, […]

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Nero’s Palace and Rome’s Gay History

  Who was Rome’s gayest Emperor?  That’s a tough one.  There were rumors about almost every Emperor:  Julius Caesar’s soldiers for instance joshingly called him “the husband of every wife and the wife of every husband.”  One of the top competitors, however, is certainly Nero, who was said among other things to have married two […]

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Power and Pathos in Hellenistic Greece

When we think of the ancient Greeks, we think of the body beautiful, particularly the male body, and  all those graceful gods and Herculean heroes. But a new exhibit and its accompanying coffee-table catalog (Power and Pathos; Edited by Jens M Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin; J. Paul Getty Museum, $65, 367 pages) present a more complex […]

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Gay Italy Tour Poised to Explore the Origins of Sexual Identity

WHILE I PREPARE for the first ever gay history and art tour of Italy (click here for more information), which I’ll be leading in five weeks, I’m finding even more amazing material about Italy’s gay history than I already knew existed. The latest treasure trove is coming from a new book by one Giovanni Dall’Orto […]

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Gay Lovers Were Heroes of Athenian Democracy

    WHENEVER I give a GLBT tour at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I always stop to talk about this fragment from a red-figured Greek vase. It’s not much to look at, and certainly a casual observer would see nothing homoerotic about it. What you see are two men with drawn swords, […]

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From Rome with Love

Can it be that Stephen and I have discovered some yet unexplored homoerotic art at the Villa Borghese in Rome? Probably not, as art historians have presumably combed every square centimeter of surface area in this and other major art centers in the Eternal City. And yet, an Internet search for gay art on the […]

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Sexual Freedom and the Classical Ideal

Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer HistoryCurated by Jonathan David KatzLeslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art   THIS AMBITIOUS EXHIBITION, Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer History, sets out to show how the Greek depiction of gods in their natural state, naked but for the tools and accessories of their trade, gave queer sensibility’s […]

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