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Boon Companions: Affectionate Adventures in Early Photography (Talk)

Friday, July 26 | 6:30 - 8 p.m.

A closer look at 19th-century imagery

Join us on Friday, July 26, in the John L. Wehle Gallery Lobby for a fascinating discussion surrounding male affection in 19th-century photography with Rochester-area librarian, photographer, speaker, and collector Gerry Szymanski.

Plus, enjoy access to a cash bar in the Gallery lobby! 

Male affection in photography

Victorian social and gender roles were strictly defined and represented in early photos. Why then, are there so many pictures of pairs of men in seemingly intimate poses? Using images from his vast collection, Gerry Szymanski discusses this “manly affection” and how these once private (but now public) photographs change our perception of 19th-century attitudes and beliefs.

About the presenter

Gerry Szymanski is Reserves and Digital Services Librarian at the Sibley Music Library and Adjunct Professor of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, and has managed the Lilac Library collection for over 20 years. As an orator, he has spoken at the Rochester Public Library, the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and the Rochester Historical Society. He is also an award-winning photographer, composer, and filmmaker. Images from his historic photo collection are currently on display in the John L. Wehle Gallery exhibition Becoming Gendered: Garment as Gender Artifact.

Ticket Information

Museum Members: $12 
General Public: $15 
Virtual Museum Member Access: $5 
Virtual General Public Access: $10 


Is there ample parking?

Parking is free and plentiful! Park in any of the main lots at the front of the Museum. Please leave the first two bays available for handicapped parking. 

How do I show my purchased tickets?

Please have your ticket(s) either printed out OR pulled up on your phone screen and ready for scanning for quick and easy check-in. Pro-tip: take a screenshot of each of your tickets to have ready and pulled up on your phone screen! Please note: Wifi can sometimes be spotty at the front of the Museum. 

What is GCV&M's commitment to DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibiltiy and Inclusion)?

Genesee Country Village & Museum is actively committed to broadening our understanding of DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion), and making it part of everything that we do. Guided by our mission, values, and inclusive culture of curiosity, we strive to dismantle inequity and address erasure through ongoing dynamic interpretation, communications, research, and outreach. We celebrate the stories of our shared past; connect the rich diversity of the 19th century to the present; and collaborate with the communities we serve to create welcoming spaces for learning, work, exploration, and play.  

Click here to learn more about our expanded commitment to DEAI:

is this event rain or shine?

Yes! This event is rain or shine. The Museum will only cancel in case of a severe weather emergency.

Are service animals welcome?

Yes! Leashed service animals are welcome with proper identification.

What if I need a refund for my ticket?

We’re sorry to hear that you’re not able to attend! Tickets may be refunded only up to 7 days prior to the event date and are strictly non-transferable by date, entry time, or program. 

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