GEORGE PLATT LYNES
b. 1907 East Orange, NJ.
d. 1955 New York, NY.
1926 Studied at Yale University, New Haven, CT
George Platt Lynes is recognized today as a master of 20th century photography, influencing artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Herb Ritts. Though Lynes was commercially successful in New York fashion and portrait photography, his art practice is largely characterized today by his remarkable photographs of nude men, from the 1930s until his death in 1955. Using inventive lighting, posing, and cropping techniques within his carefully staged studio settings, he was able to visually translate both the physical and psychological nuances of his subjects.
Lynes attended the Berkshire School in Massachusetts and traveled to Paris for preparatory studies shortly after. In Paris, he met Réne Crevel, Man Ray, and Gertrude Stein, with whom he began a decade-long correspondence. Largely self-taught, Lynes eventually entered Yale University in 1926 and left after his first year to move to New York. Initially exploring writing and bookselling, Lynes soon found his aesthetic through the facility of the camera. His first informal portraits were done in the late 1920s, but evolved to official society photography, contributing to significant museum shows, high-profile fashion magazines, and solo exhibitions. Indeed, his glamorous portraits of literary, film, and art world personalities are indicative of the types of personal relationships he had with cogniscenti. His friendship with New York art dealer Julien Levy led to his first exhibition in 1932. Eventually, Lynes' commercial success in portraiture and fashion photography enabled him to open his own New York studio in 1933. He later became the head of Vogue magazine's West Coast studio in Los Angeles in 1946, where he moved following several years of emotional upheaval in his personal life. There, he photographed celebrities such as Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russel, Gloria Swanson, and Orson Welles.
Lynes returned to New York in 1948 and focused his photography practice on his private interests, male nudes, and documenting productions of the New York City Ballet. During this time, Lynes also became acquainted with Dr. Alfred Kinsey, an influential researcher on human sexuality who founded in 1947 the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, now known as the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. A substantial body of Lynes' nude and homoerotic photographic works were ultimately left to the Kinsey Institute after Lynes' death in 1955.
2010 - present
2010 - present
George Platt Lynes, Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art, Lambertville, NJ
George Platt Lynes, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, NY
George Platt Lynes, Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY
Vintage Ballet Photographs, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
George Platt Lynes, Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art, New York, NY
Fashioning Celebrity: Photographs of George Platt Lynes, Harry Ransom Center, Austin, TX
George Balanchine and his Dancers: the Ballet Photography of George Platt Lynes, The Kinsey Institute Gallery, Bloomington, IN
George Platt Lynes: Photographs from the Kinsey Institute, Grey Art Gallery at New York University, New York, NY
Fleeting Gestures: Treasure of Dance Photography, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Portraits by George Platt Lynes, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Julian Levy Gallery, New York, NY
Fashion: Photography from the Condé Nast Archives, Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia, Milan, Italy
Psyche & Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul, Beinecke Library at Yale University, New Haven, CT
An Intimate Circle, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY
Narcissus Reflected, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
25 Years / 25 Works, Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art, Washington, D.C.
Staff Picks 2010, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, NY
Nature & Nurture: Exploring Human Reproduction from Pregnancy through Early Childhood, The Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, IN
Flirting with Bling, Corkin Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Pre-Revolutionary Queer: Gay Art and Culture Before Stonewall, The Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, IN
Vintage / Vantage, Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art, New York, NY
MODE: BILDER, NRW Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft, Dusseldorf, Germany
Classic Beauty: Part 2 Photographs of the Male Nude, Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, NY
VIP, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Igor Stawinsky - ich muss die kunst anfassen, Museum of Moderne Rupertinum, Salzburg, Austria
Busy going crazy: The Sylvio Perlstein Collection, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
American Icons, Corkin Gallery, Toronto, Canada
20th Anniversary Show, Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art, New York, NY
Beyond Real Part 1 Dressing Up, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia
From the Source, Fashion Photographs, Corkin Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Summer Skin, Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Herb Ritts Private Collection, Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Artseal Gallery Photo SF Preview, Artseal Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Flesh Tones - 100 Years of the Nude, Robert Mann Gallery, New York, NY
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Interwoven Lives: George Platt Lynes and his Friends, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY
Figurescapes, Radiant Light Gallery, Portland, ME
Classic Dualities: The Photographs of Len Prince taken at the Tampa Museum of Art, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Figure/Form: The Nude in 20th Century Photography, Jan Kesner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
documenta 6, Documenta, Kassel, Germany
Abstraction in Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Murals by American Painters and Photographers, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, National Gallery of Canada
Centre Pompidou Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
George Platt Lynes: The Male Nudes. New York: Rizzoli, 2011.
George Platt Lynes: Photographs from the Kinsey Institute. Boston: Boston Little, Brown and Company, 1993.
George Platt Lynes. Berlin: Bruno Gmünder Verlag, 1990.
George Platt Lynes: Photographs 1931-1955. Los Angeles: Twelvetrees Press, 1981.