SERIES 2: Photographs

Extent & Medium24,000+ photographs
Administrative/Biographical HistoryJohn Lillis, along with his partner Jeff Bailey began collecting physique photography and the ephemera associated with that photography around the year 2000. Initially, his collecting was focused on two studios: Bob Mizer’s Athletic Model Guild and Don Whitman’s Western Photography Guild. Over the years, however, he expanded the range of studios to include most other US studios. His geographic reach has also expanded to cover very many non-US studios, primarily in Europe.
Scope & ContentSeries consists of collectable photographs taken during the mid 20th century worldwide. Series is divided into sub-series by photographer and subject.
System of ArrangementSeries is arranged into sub-series based on provenance.
RightsAll Right Reserved. Permission to use images must be obtained in advance and in writing from the Bob Mizer Foundation, Inc by writing to

Collection Contents

The Collection of 24,031 vintage photographs is focused on Physique Photography and ephemera associated with that photography from 1946, just after the Second World War, through the 1980s, with a limited number of photographs from later periods The chronological progression of the Collection demonstrates the evolution in treatment of Gay subject matter in the United States from 1946 through the 1980s, and a contrast in treatment of Gay subject matter in Europe, vs. the United States during that period.

The Collection of 24,031 photographs is catalogued separately for each photographer, with the photographs organized in general chronological order, identifying each photograph by model name and, where available, series numbers. There are 23,191 photographs by American studios, and 840 photographs from European studios. OF the American studio photographs, the Collection includes 9880 photographs from the Athletic Model Guild studio (Bob Mizer photographer), 4733 photographs from the Bruce of Los Angeles studio (Bruce Bellas photographer), 3854 photographs from the Western Photography Guild (Don Whitman photographer), 249 Photographs from the Joe Weber studio, 153 photographs from the Russ Warner studio, 171 photographs from the Spartan of Hollywood studio, 158 photographs from the Pat Milo studio (Milo of Los Angeles), 236 photographs from the Lon of New York studio (Alonso Hanagan photographer), 499 photographs from the Kris of Chicago studio (Chuck Renslow photographer), 175 photographs from the Etienne studio (Dom Orejudos photographer), 62 photographs for the Douglas of Detroit studio, 27 photographs by Bob Delmonteque, 147 photographs by the Dave Martin studio, 186 photographs of Glenn Bishop and Richard Alan by Cliff Oettinger, Douglas of Detroit or the Michigan Models studio, 188 photos by Mike Scott, 131 photos by Troy Saxon, Mel Roberts and George Pice (GEMS) studios, and 2342 photographs by miscellaneous U.S. photographers with broad geographic distribution across the United States.

There are 840 photographs by various European studios. 194 photographs by John Barrington of London, 118 photographs by various other U.K. studios, 249 photographs by Arax of Paris, and 279 photographs by various other Continental European studios.

Digitized Items