Almost 70 years ago, a Los Angeles kid named Bob Mizer started experimenting with photography. He and his friends were taking pictures of each other and developing their own photos. They were sometimes experimenting with nude and erotic photography of each other at a time when distribution of those photos would have been illegal.
Bob’s early hobby morphed into a 50-year long profession as he, and other physique photographers like him, battled the U.S. government to share their artwork decades before Stonewall. As an openly gay man, he was constantly harassed by the Los Angeles Police Department for his livelihood. As an openly gay man, Bob went to jail for his beliefs.
Bob Mizer (1922-1992), the photographer, is in a class of physique photographers whose work is recognized world-wide as a unique mid-century movement capturing timeless male physique images. He created a film studio. He produced magazines. He widely distributed prints of his photographs. In his fifty-year career, Bob Mizer produced over two million photographic images.
The Bob Mizer Foundation is the protectorate and curator of Mizer’s estate and is now located in downtown San Francisco. The Foundation’s archival team is currently cataloging Bob Mizer’s 35mm color slide collection on site in San Francisco. We are training archivists to assist in processing 750,000 color slides which must be identified, sorted, cleaned and sleeved into archival pages for permanent storage. Attention to detail is important. Archival work sessions are currently available on Saturdays only.
The Foundation also has many on-going projects, so there are likely other focused projects if interns show interest.
Curated items in this collection will contain nudity and homo-eroticism, so volunteers should decide whether they feel comfortable working with this type of material before applying.
Help us preserve Bob Mizer’s legacy, while learning about this part of our collective history. Make it part of your history! Talk to us if you want to be involved!