As a educational archive, the Bob Mizer Foundation is supported by grants, donations and the contributions
made by its devoted members. The Foundation's interns and volunteers are integral to helping us achieve our stated goal of promoting and preserving progressive and controversial photography.
Bob Mizer began taking photographs as early as 1942, first experimenting with self-portraits and later moving to the boardwalks of Venice beach to capture images of body building
competitions. His early works, while not as polished or perfected as his later photographs, laid the groundwork for a career that would span 50 years. From the time of his first
foray into professional photography in 1945, with the establishment of the now infamous Athletic Model Guild, until his death in 1992, Bob Mizer focused his lens on the male form,
drawing ire from the religious right, law enforcement, and even the federal government. The images he produced, while provocative at the time, were by no means explicit, but
nonetheless lead to years of legal battles and a near half century of personal anguish.
Bobmizerfoundation.org has now replaced the cutely named website called posingstrap.com
which was the web's first and largest collection of vintage, all-male photographs from the 1900s
to the 1960s. (The straps were the pouches photographers had to use because of the legal
issues in the states involving the mailing of male frontal nudity.)
The websites have some rare content, the studio beefcake pics of nude musclemen, naked romps in the watering hole, rare
gay erotica from the days doctors thought being gay was some sort of mental disease. These
are the pics found in the back closets and attics of those family members who somehow
They come from the days when gay mags
had to pretend they were all about body and muscle-building and had names like Physique
Pictorial and Physical Culture. You may well have
seen those old Athletic Model Guild films on video, or the recently released Beefcake film,
that has featured in a number of UK gay film festivals.