Aug Sept 2016
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The Advocate

PHOTOS: Swab Your Deck, Boys, It's Fleet Week!

Fleet Week New York (held today through May 26) is a U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard tradition in which active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in the city for one week; several other major cities host Fleet Weeks as well. Once the ships dock, the crews can enter the city and visit its tourist attractions. And so you have a city swarming with swabbies. Even Carrie on Sex and the City (almost) gets into the action.

As a special program this year, Fleet Week is promoting #SelfieWithASailor. That's right, you can have a special portrait of yourself with a bell-bottomed buddy. Be sure to add your hashtag!

To help celebrate and support our seamen, we have assembled a collection of art and photography devoted to the men at sea.

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Vintage sailors enjoying the fit of a good sailor's uniform.

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Sailors selling it: everything from submarines to soap to Camels.

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Sailors by Tom of Finland: Tom had a certain appreciation for a sailor's strut. See more about Tom and his work at the Tom of Finland Foundation website.

Seamen in the lens: The sailor has been a model of inspiration for many photographers. Clockwise from top left: Pierre et Gilles, Mel Roberts, Bob Mizer of the Athletic Model Guild and Physique Pictorial, Bruce Weber

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The homoerotic sailors of artist McClelland Barclay

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Vintage seamen in love.

Sailors on stage and screen (clockwise from left): Brad Davis in Querelle; Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in one of two fetishy sailor films they made together, Anchors Aweigh; Cris Alexander, Adolph Green, and John Battles onstage in On the Town.

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Sailors and Floozies, painted by gay artist Paul Cadmus in 1938, was supposed to be exhibited in a San Francisco art show in 1940, but the Navy wanted it taken down. After the press made a fuss about it, the painting stayed in the show. According to a 1940 Time article, Cadmus had this to say: “I  think the picture portrays an enjoyable side of Navy life. I think it would make a good recruiting poster.”

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The Navy Wants Men, indeed. Various recruitment posters.

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Famed Saturday Evening Post illustrator J.C. Leyendecker painted sailors lovingly.

Sailors make the cover: Adventure magazine shows the crustier side of the old gob, and Sam Steward (a.k.a. Phil Andros and Phil Sparrow) used a sailor as part of his promotion as a tattoo artist.

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The art of Yannis Tsoucharis.

The art of Emlen Etting

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Legendary mid-century gay artists Etienne (Dom Orejudos) and George Quaintance knew their way around some tight bell-bottoms.

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So enjoy the week! Buy a sailor a nice ice cream cone. Be careful you don't drip any of that on those nice white pants.