Works from European publishing giant Bruno Gmunder chronicles expanse of LGBT culture

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Works from European publishing giant Bruno Gmunder chronicles expanse of LGBT culture

Tom of Finland. F. Valentine Hooven III. Jim French. Rex. Michael Stokes. 

They're all names instantly recognizable to lovers of gay art and literature, and one publisher has brought them together with the stated mission of furthering appreciation for and understanding of LGBT culture. 

German publisher Bruno Gmunder, founded by a Berlin resident who gave the company his name, emerged in 1981 at the dawn of the AIDS crisis. Spreading throughout Western Europe, the company quickly gained a loyal audience whose members collected not just gay fiction and nonfiction, but gay photo and art books as well. Bruno Gmunder has a presence in the U.S. as well, with stores in both Los Angeles and New York. 

"Bruno Gmunder might be best known for offering a great resource for gay tourists -- the Spartacus International Gay Guide, which has been published for nearly 50 years," says Den Bell, president and CEO of The Bob MIzer Foundation. "We are pleased, too, that Bruno Gmunder is one of many merchants worldwide that sells books featuring the works of male physique photographer Michael Stokes, who has donated his time and talents for The Foundation for quite a while now."

The publishing giant's offerings are diverse and feature titles and artists who will be familiar to male physique photography fans. 

In addition to Stokes, whose provocative images focus heavily on wounded veterans, more recent publications include compilations from photographers Ron Amato ("The Box," a traditionally square-shaped book that "explores the themes of isolation and desire") and David Vance (whose titles include "Masculine Beauty" and "Timeless Bodies").  

"Bruno Gmunder's popularity and wide appeal is proof that appreciation of male beauty, especially in print media, continues to thrive," Bell notes. "Of course, that's good news for us here, too."

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