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Classic Kink (Part I)

Guglielmo (Wilhelm von) Plüschow, House of Marcus Lucretius, Pompeii (detail), undated, Albumen print Alma-Tadema Collection, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham, Cat. AT 7988.

The University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, Office of LGBTQ Student Life, and the Leather Archives & Museum are partnering for a special two-part program that explores classicism in relation to the history of LGBTQ communities.

Part I (May 4) features a tour of the Smart Museum’s special exhibition Classicisms, including a set of nineteenth-century photographs of suggestively posed young men amid Roman ruins. Led by Benjamin Morgan, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, the conversation will focus on the public and private dissemination of LGBTQ culture through the clandestine trading of images in the Victorian era, as well as the validation that can come from the deployment classical aesthetics. This discussion will be followed by a figure drawing session where participants will create works in response to the exhibition and discussion.

Part II (May 11) features a discussion of the history and future of Chicago’s active LGBTQ community and a tour of classically-themed 1960s and 70s physique photography and murals by Chuck Renslow and Etienne at the at the Leather Archives & Museum, which preserves the history and culture of fetish, kink, and leather communities in Chicago. Following the tour, the UChicago student organization RACK (Risk-Aware Consensual Kink) will give a demonstration about the aesthetics and safe practice of contemporary kink.

FREE, but space is limited. Please register in advance.


Presented by the Smart Museum of Art, the Office of LGBTQ Student Life at the University of Chicago, and the Leather Archives & Museum. Support for this program has been provided by UChicago Arts Grants

UChicago Arts


Image: Guglielmo (Wilhelm von) Plüschow, House of Marcus Lucretius, Pompeii (detail), undated, Albumen print Alma-Tadema Collection, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham, Cat. AT 7988.