IotD: Christian William Miller, Lover & Muse

Two striking images unearthed in the Beinecke Library‘s Glenway Wescott papers:

Christian William Miller by Glenway Wescott

Christian William Miller and Monroe Wheeler by Glenway Wescott

From Jerry Roscoe’s Glenway Wescott Personally: A Biography:

Wheeler and Wescott’s friends included a number of young lovers. One, Christian William Miller, or Bill Miller, had been one of the most strikingly beautiful of George [Platt Lynes]’s models. Miller was a lover of Wheeler’s and a family friend for many years. A later Wheeler intimate, Ralph Pomeroy, remembered, ‘Bill would go to a gallery and all the women and all the men would faint!’ […] Charles Kaiser’s gay history of New York, The Gay Metropolis, states, ‘Bill Miller is also famous among his contemporaries as one of the most gorgeous men in 1940s Manhattan. Paul Cadmus drew him, George Platt Lynes photographed him, and everyone wanted him.’ (121)

The indispensable Font Free Endpaper has a post on Miller with more information, as well what appears to be another image taken at the same time as the second image above.

Perhaps a series on the many artistic iterations of the gorgeous Miller as muse is in order…

Provenance:

Christian William Miller, ca. 1945-60
Source: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Christian William Miller and Monroe Wheeler, ca. 1945-60
Source: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Works Cited:

Rosco, Jerry. Glenway Wescott Personally: A Biography. Madison: U of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.

 

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