Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Born On This Day- March 13th... Janet Flanner


Later this month, The Husband & I will be traveling to Tacoma to see Tacoma Art Museum. They will be bringing the internationally-acclaimed exhibition HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, the only showing on the West Coast. The exhibition debuted at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in 2010 & is the first major exhibition to address the question of how gender identity & sexual orientation have dramatically shaped the creation of modern American portraiture. The original showing had Christian Right Wingers all a dither & resulted in the the removal of one of the pieces. The catalog from the original show is published in hardback & is simply a must for the smart gay person or any art lover. At Post Apocalyptic Bohemia this book is held in the highest regard & has brought hours of viewing pleasure.

I am beside myself to actually see the show & we are going to make a swell day of it, taking Amtrak to Tacoma, taking in Hide/Seek at TAM, moving over to the amazing Museum of Glass, lunch, some picking through the Tacoma thrift shops for treasures & the train back to Portland.

Hide/Seek offers an unprecedented survey of nearly 150 years of American art & includes more than 100 works by masters including Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Mapplethorpe & more.

Today is the birthday of New Yorker writer-Janet Flanner, an American who lived in Paris with her lover Solita Solano. Together they traveled in the most fashionable gay social circles & knew everybody who was anybody. Janet Flanner was best known for her Letter from Paris column, that she wrote for the New Yorker from 1925 to 1975 under the pen name- Genêt, that gave readers a coded glimpse of the Parisian in crowd. I simply ate up this column when I was a youth.


This 1923 portrait is by extraordinary photographer- lesbian Berenice AbbottFlanner’s masks are a symbol of the multiple disguises that she wore, one for private life, & one for public life. It is featured in Hide/Seek.

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