Collection: The Stompers NYC Gallery - Louis Weingarden Collection

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Prints will be on exhibit from November 1 - December 15 at our Circus of Books East location at 8230 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood, CA

In the heart of downtown New York City, Stompers gallery, run by Louis Weingarden from 1978 to 1989, was a pivotal space for artistic exposure, especially for Tom of Finland and a vibrant artistic community. Operating as a used boot shop with an art gallery hidden in its back space, Stompers showcased erotic art at 259 West 4th Street, hosting exhibitions for influential artists like Tom of Finland, Etienne, Rex, and more.

Louis Weingarden, a significant figure in the downtown art scene and a composer, tragically saw Stompers close after both he and his partner succumbed to AIDS. The collection remained hidden for 34 years until this summer. Tom of Finland's debut U.S. show at Stompers led to the publication of the sought-after "Tom of Finland - Stomper Gallery Set One," featuring four prints in a nondescript folder. These sets, along with Domino Set Two, are rare and signed, sought after by global collectors.

Chuck Arnett, famed for a 1964 mural featured in Life Magazine, is another spotlight artist. With over 20 original pieces, this exhibit provides a unique chance to own art from one of the most influential gay artists. The collection spans renowned artists like Paul Cadmus, Jim French, Domino, Rex, and others, featuring unknown pieces that attest to artists' willingness to showcase their work in a time when selling gay erotica was illegal in many U.S. states. These artworks represent the 70s and early 80s, depicting a pre-AIDS sexual lifestyle.

The exhibit, showcasing at Circus of Books from November 1 to December 15, 2023, unveils a rich tapestry of hidden artistic gems and the enduring legacy of influential artists.