Saturday, November 5, 2016

AMG: 1000 Model Directory

Last Thursday evening at The Magazine store in San Francisco, California, I was thrilled to attend the book premiere party for Taschen’s AMG: 1000 Model Directory, which is a large, two-volume box set that features photographs of 1,000 models taken in the mid-1940′s to the mid-1960′s by Bob Mizer at the Athletic Model Guild (AMG) in Los Angeles, California.

AMG 1000 Model Directory.
If you’re a fan of vintage beefcake, you likely know Bob Mizer nearly all by himself invented in the 1940′s the concept of male model. It was shocking in that era to celebrate men purely for their physical beauty. In fact, for the crime of taking photographs of men posing in bathing suits, Mizer spent several months in prison.

The Magazine store on Larkin Street, San Franciso, California.

Book premiere party at The Magazine on November 3, 2016.

Luckily for us, Mizer persisted, believing he and his fellow photographers had the artistic right in the United States to photograph adults any way they chose.

He passed away in 1992, having run continuously AMG for nearly 50 years. His estate was on the verge of being broken up and sold off, when photographer Dennis Bell purchased everything in 2003.

A few years later, Bell set up the non-profit Bob Mizer Foundation, with the purpose of archiving and preserving Mizer’s work along with that of other photographers for future generations.

Dennis Bell signing my copy of the book.

With Dian Hanson, who spent 3 years selecting the photographs.
In October, 2016, Trent Dunphy and Robert Mainardi, the owners of The Magazine, gifted their four-story building in downtown San Francisco to the Foundation, ensuring with their legacy a permanent home for the Foundation as well as for the two men’s massive collection of vintage beefcake photographs and magazines.

Robert Mainardi, Dennis Bell and Trent Dunphy.
Each purchase of a new copy of the AMG: 1000 Model Directory will directly benefit the Foundation.

Not only are these two volumes big, beautiful books featuring exquisite photographs of some of AMG's most popular and handsome models, they are also an astounding resource for fans of vintage beefcake, such as myself, to identify models and for studying the various settings, props and locations Mizer employed in creating his photographs.

Dennis Bell and Dian Hanson signed my copy.

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