IotD: George Platt Lynes Needlepoint

George Platt Lynes needlepoint of Jared French design

The design is a copy of his friend Jared French’s painting Elemental Play (1946).

A closer look at the intricate handiwork:

As well as the original version of Elemental Play:

Jared French Elemental PlayPlatt Lynes recreated the overall composition of French’s painting almost exactly, but along with some alteration in the color scheme, there are several fascinating minor divergences as well. Consider, for example, that Platt Lynes added genitals to the male figure on the left—perhaps not surprising considering how closely associated the photographer has become with his erotic art.

In his tripartite biography Intimate Companions David Leddick records that Platt Lynes took up needlepoint during the six year period (1937 – 1943) he lived with Glenway Wescott and Monroe Wheeler in an unconventional ménage à trois arrangement. Leddick also includes a photo of another example of Platt Lynes’s needlepoint, also designed by French (perhaps the subject of a future post.)

A lesser known but nonetheless fascinating expression of the great photographer’s extensive creative oeuvre.

The cushion is currently for sale; price unknown.

Provenance:

George Platt Lynes (from a design by Jared French)
Needlepoint in wool
Source: Kylix Collection

Jared French, c. 1946
Source: The Red List

Works Cited

Leddick, David. Intimate Companions: A Triography of George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, Lincoln Kirstein, and Their Circle. New York: St. Martin’s, 2000.

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IotD: Monroe Wheeler by George Platt Lynes

george platt lynes monroe wheeler

I’m perpetually delighted by visual riches that endlessly surface through Google image searches: attempting to locate images on another subject this striking composition immediately caught my eye. No specific information beyond what I list below is provided by the website, but the date and general style appear in line with the wonderful collection of personal images collected in When We Were Three: the Travel Albums of George Platt Lynes, Monroe Wheeler, and Glenway Wescott 1925-1935, which I review here.

The ménage à trois Platt Lynes, Wheeler, and Wescott formed documented in these images is a complex one that I’ll inevitably explore at some point, but this collage portrait seems to make it clear that of his partners the young and precocious Platt Lynes favored the dark and handsome Wheeler, for despite the impression of quick and even spontaneous assembly, to my eyes the arrangement of the individual images seem to vaguely evoke a triptych-style religious shrine. Whether that was intentional or not, this clearly seems to function as a site of veneration and worship, albeit more sexual than religious in nature.

Provenance:

Portraits of Monroe Wheeler, c. 1931
By George Platt Lynes
Set of 12: Gelatin silver prints on board

Source: artvalue.com