For over 40 years, seekers of vintage prints and esoteric publications have been happily lurking through the piles at San Francisco’s The Magazine, a Tenderloin staple that’s been dutifully operated by 70-year-old Robert Mainardi and 79-year-old Trent Dunphy in various locations since 1972.
Now, in preparation for a time “when we are no longer here,” the two men have willed the building at 920 Larkin St. to the Bob Mizer Foundation in order to transform the space into an archive dedicated to the late legend’s pioneering, never-not-hot physique photography.
“We’ve been debating for years what to do as our legacy,” Mainardi reveals to Hoodline.
“We have a large personal collection of physique photos which we will be donating to the Mizer Foundation—this will be our legacy.”
After he died in 1992, the extensive archives of Bob Mizer were unceremoniously chucked in a dumpster—letters, photos, props and personal items reflecting nearly five decades of Mizer’s work enshrining the male form at a time when such activity was taboo, if not illegal.
Fortunately, the bulk of Mizer’s actual work—about a million negatives and miles of 16mm film—has survived, and the Bob Mizer Foundation tirelessly works to preserve and promote their vast collection.
Dennis Bell of the Bob Mizer Foundation says:
The move into The Magazine building will allow us to reach the public and provide better access to Mizer’s estate than ever before. I plan to use the space to mount photographic exhibitions from the estates we hold in our permanent collection of not only Mizer’s work, but also those he influenced and was influenced by. The space will become a public exhibition and research center showcasing masculinity in photography.”
There’s no set timeline for the move, but on November 3, Mainardi and Dunphy are hosting a launch party for Taschen Publishing’s massive two-volume collection AMG: 1,000 Model Directory, reprinting the rare 1957 volume and a must-have for anyone interested in this stuff.
You can find more info on the book release party HERE.
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