Apr 19, 2017
Stevan Dovanos: The Artist Behind the Homoerotic Towel Ads of World War II
They didn't all show a lot of butt, but there were plenty of hard bodies and homoerotic hijinks.
They were called "True Towel Tales," illustrated one-page stories published magazines in 1943 and 1944. designed to sell Cannon towels.
Notice that towels play a prominent role in the illustrations.
The artist was Stevan Dovanos, born to Hungarian immigrant parents in Cleveland in 1907. He attended the Cleveland Art Institute, and later moved to Westport, Connecticut.
They remind me of Norman Rockwell's work, but with more humor and realism.
This is a rare historical painting of Roman gladiators.
He died on July 4th, 1994, at the age of 87, leaving his second wife and son, apparently never aware that he was producing homoerotic art.