Hugh Nini and Neal Treadwell began their photographic collection on accident, stumbling upon some vintage images at an antique store in Dallas, Texas.
The gay couple found an image that reflected their own reality, two men in embrace, but taken decades and decades earlier, when homosexuality was not just frowned upon, it was basically illegal. They took it upon themselves to start a collection of such images, and have amassed over 3,000 of men in love, ranging in dates from the mid-19th century to the Second World War.
This collection has now been published in the book “Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love, 1850s-1950s“.
We’re struck by the bravery and honesty in the images, and can imagine the fear or trepidation of having a photographic record of such love, when most of society was disapproving and outright hostile to gay culture. See more on CNN Style:
“This book means, for the first time, that these people, these couples, get to speak for themselves,” Nini said. “They couldn’t do it when they were alive, but they can do it now, and I think that’s really powerful.”