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New Film Showcases the 'Coded' Homoeroticism of a Gay Artist

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The Great Gatsby or any other F. Scott Fitzgerald tale of the Jazz Age, it probably would look like a painting by J.C. Leyendecker: a beautiful man in evening clothes dancing with a beautiful woman in a flapper dress, or two beautiful men dressed to play golf or some other sport, with their muscular frames obvious under their expensive clothes.You may not have heard of Leyendecker, but he was the leading commercial artist of the 1910s and ’20s, in demand for high-end advertisements and the covers of popular magazines.

He created the dominant aesthetic of the era, and, as a gay man, worked coded homoeroticism into many of his illustrations, offering a lesson that advertisers still found useful at the end of the 20th century.Now Leyendecker.

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