STRONGMAN: The Predilections of Robert Mainardi

STRONGMAN: The Predilections of Robert Mainardi


STRONGMAN: The Predilections of Robert Mainardi

constructions and reflections on his published works

May 4 - October 10, 2023

Opening Reception:
May 4, 2022
6 - 8 PM PST

Mainardi Memorial Gallery
Free to Members and the Public

The Bob Mizer Foundation hosts the first in our Speaker Series with a presentation by historian John Fagundes on Friday, September 15, 2023, at the Foundation’s downtown headquarters.

Bob Mainardi, co-founder of The Magazine, a longtime merchant specializing in vintage magazines, ephemera, and erotica, had a

passion for printed material evident in his encyclopedic knowledge of male physique photography artists, models, and studios. It was a

passion he worked to spark in others with his tireless preservation of such materials through assisting with the publication of books that

resurrected those artists previously forgotten. Books like Strong Man: Vintage Photos of a Masculine Icon introduced a new generation to

bodybuilders of the Victorian era, while Hard Boys made luminous the rollicking, All-American boys of illustrator Harry Bush.

In the same way that the male physique photographers of yesteryear who inspired him toiled to ensure freedom of speech and artistic

expression in their works, Bob donated his time to institutions steeped in the preservation of gay culture, among them The GLBT

Historical Society and The James C. Hormel LGBT Center. As you will hear later in this exhibit, Bob always had on his lips a fascinating tale

about the area’s gay history, ready to share.

Having earned a reputation as a kind, charitable, generous, enthusiastic, and intelligent man, Bob’s presence was a unique gift to

all who knew him, and his contributions to gay culture cannot be overstated. Though Bob is gone, his legacy – and the love we all feel

for him – will endure.

Dennis Bell



Kevin Bentley

Curatorial Assistant


Keith DeNatale



Corbin Crable

Curatorial Assistant