Folk Porn: Anonymous 1940s Sex Drawings (Paperback)
In an abandoned storage unit in Philadelphia, a collector discovered more than 150 works on paper by a presumably self-taught artist. The works fall into distinct groups--pencil drawings that are often sexual jokes, explicit watercolor scenes, and drawings on mimeograph paper.
Clues to the identity of the artist and the timeframe in which the works were made are embedded in the materials. The ledger paper and safety protocol forms that presumably he used as a support bear the letterhead of the well-known Philadelphia chemical manufacturing company Rohm & Haas, established in 1909. A partially affixed mailing label on the back of one of the drawings gives a Philadelphia address and indicates "foreman" as the addressee. The date 1955 is written on the back of another drawing. The clothing and hairstyles depicted seem to date from the 1940s and 1950s. A search in the company's archives turns up a staff photograph from 1931 listing numerous foremen who might be the author of this erotic cache.Almost certainly made for his own personal amusement and titillation, the Philadelphia Foreman's erotic drawings are a rare and fascinating time capsule of American folk porn.-Excerpt from "Pornography and the Pandemic" by Alison Gingeras