A collection of historic images of LGBTQ+ life will be on display at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair taking place April 21 to 24 at the Park Avenue Armory.
More than 200 exhibitors from around the world will have their books and items on show for the international event. Exhibitors from more than 14 countries will be at the fair. Treasures to showcase and purchase will include rare books, maps, illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, fine bindings, illustrations, historical documents, prints, and print ephemera, according to a release.
Also featured will be a collection of images from Walter Reuben Inc. While the company specializes in movie star photos, movie scripts, rare books, lobby cards, vintage movie posters, and Hollywood movie memorabilia that focus on the history of the European and Hollywood Motion Picture Business, they also work with materials related to Black cultural history, theater and stage, and LGBTQ+ film.
“On display in their booth at the NYIABF will be a curated collection of photos of same-sex couples and groups showing deep affection, friendship, and forms of intimacy which fall under the umbrella of LGBTQ study. Many are from the earliest days of photography and the bulk of the collection consists of images from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries,” a spokesperson for the company said.
The images at the fair will show the intimacy between the subjects through their body language, dress, and positionings. Some of the postcards were even directed to family members, who seem to have been aware of these relationships.
“As many are from a period in which photography was not common, that these people choose to be photographed together for formal photos and for real-life postcards indicates that they are couples wishing to celebrate their union,” a description of the collection states.