The Gay Photographer

August 7, 2006

Gay photographer 1880s.0.jpg

Here is the cover for that old famous Victorian song, “The Gay Photographer” with a caption that reads: “THE POPULAR SONG” with imitation banjo accompaniment [wow, “imitation banjo” — wouldn’t want the real thing now would we?] composed and sung by George Grossmith, Jr.”

Let’s look at exactly how GAY this photographer is. Are those white gloves he has on? He has a top hat, sensibly placed upside down on a purple velvet chair next to his swagger stick. Look at those shoes. My, my. I forget what you call those shoe coverings. And the pants. Very dapper. A casual tuxedo, or smoking jacket with a handkerchief wildly thrust in his side pocket. Behind him is the dark room. Almost looks like a computer back there don’t you think? I’m very impressed by the fabulous open windows although the logic of their perspective seems a bit off. (Imagine how hot that could get in the summer.) Out the window are small smokestacks, presumably of other city houses. We can’t overlook the faaabulous carpet, a kind of autumnal red pattern. It is an interesting choice to go with the greenish wallpaper.

Hmm, is this guy gay? Uh, probably so.

[Image from the Spellman Collection, Reading University. Via BiblOdyssey]

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