Welcome to the inaugural edition of Point, a digital publication from The New York Public Library. Part magazine, part digital exhibition, Point aims to give you a taste of the Library’s unparalleled collections by showcasing photos, prints, maps, multimedia and more within a gorgeously designed eBook. Each edition also contains a resource guide that invites you to learn more from related Library resources.
In this, the first edition of Point, we focus on the photography of Kenn Duncan. Known for his work with publications such as Dance Magazine, Opera News, and the now-defunct After Dark—which had a prominent following in the gay community—Duncan’s photos provide a window into the vibrant performing arts scene of the 1970s as well as New York City and its myriad characters. Duncan’s subjects included divas Bette Midler, Eartha Kitt, and Twiggy; LGBT performers such as Sal Mineo, Lily Tomlin, Harvey Fierstein and Ian McKellan; masculine icons including Joe Dallesandro, Brad Davis and Joe Namath; as well as the casts of Hair, The Wiz and other Broadway shows.
The Library acquired more than 600,000 of Duncan’s images and their copyright in 2003, later presenting a sample of them in the exhibition “Focus on the 70s: The Fabulous Photography of Kenn Duncan,” and in Divas! The Fabulous Photograph of Kenn Duncan, a book that focused on Duncan’s female muses. This spring the Library finished digitizing all of the Duncan images relating to theater productions, making the majority available in its online Digital Gallery. To celebrate this accomplishment, and as a companion to Divas, we dedicated this inaugural edition of Point to Duncan’s male photography. From actors and dancers, to Warhol superstars, his photos reveal not only the men they capture, but the viewpoint of an artist who loved beauty, character and performance.
Point Vol. 1 Ed. 1, compiled and edited by Richert Schnorr.