I’ve recently become obsessed with the work of queer illustrator JC Leyendecker (thanks to Laurence S Cutler and Judy Goffman Cutlers’ awesome book). Leyendecker did many of the covers for The Saturday Evening Post and practically invented branding in advertising (and the New Year’s Eve baby, don’t ya know). When designing his illustrations for the Arrow Shirt Company in the early 20th century, Leyendecker was encouraged to insert homoerotic imagery. His illustrations for Arrow personified “an ideal American man.” The male model used for most of these ads was Leyendecker’s life partner Charles A Beach. It’s just all so awesome that a queer illustrator paints his lover and American men aspire to be just like him.
The Flickr group Leyendecker shares more than 260 of his images: Hunky jocks and dapper gents abound… and every one of them is a humdinger. I’m bursting with gay pleasures.