George Platt Lynes (1907-1955) was an influential photographer known for his stylized fashion images. In the 30s, his photographs are characterized by their use of expressionist lighting, surreal props, and suggestive settings. An important figure in the world of New York photography, he was commissioned to work for the School of American Ballet at the Lincoln Center, where he photographed the principal dancers and the best productions for twenty years. Simultaneously, he undertook a personal project exploring male sexuality. These images are direct and honest portraits of male nudes indoors or in nature. Given the existing conservative laws he was never able to show them outside his close circle.
In 1949, Lynes befriended Alfred C. Kinsey, author of a controversial book at the time, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Despite it being illegal to sell or buy nude male images, Kinsey acquired many of his photographs for the Institute for Sex Research. Lynes collaborated with Kinsey for years in the hope that society would change and photographs of him could finally be seen and appreciated.