Tuesday, June 2, 2009
A Stash of Drawings Comes to Light
WHILE AT A PARTY NOT LONG AGO, I HAD A DISCUSSION WITH GRAPHIC DESIGNER Katy Fischer about her love and obsession with estate sales and flea markets. Of course, I had complete understanding for her affliction. She eventually told me about a great find of old drawings that dealt mainly with gay issues. She found the drawings tucked between the pages of an old book at the estate sale of Saul Rosenzweig - a retired professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.
Katy works at TOKY Design, and she told me that she had given the entire set of 1920-30-ish period illustrations to colleague Geoff Story. Geoff, who happened to be nearby, told me the drawings were posted on his Flickr site. We all went to a computer and took a look and I knew I had to share these with my loyal readers. Thanks for sharing, Geoff!
Apparently, Saul Rosenzweig spent his entire career exploring various aspects of aggression, including his creation of the Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Study, a test to measure latent hostility. The test was popularized in Stanley Kubrick's famous film, A Clockwork Orange.
Whether these drawings were part of an early study, or just drawings Rosenzweig acquired during his long career is unknown. What I do know is that most of these early, anonymous drawings of sexual intimacy are interesting and insightful studies of a taboo subject. I am sure that the artist kept these illustrations well-hidden, where they surfaced for Katy Fischer 75 years later.