Avery Willard Model Visits Swann

New discoveries are often made during our auction previews. Sometimes a guest will identify a place depicted in a work of art, or recognize a name in an inscription. One wonderful example took place this past Saturday at the exhibition of our upcoming auction of Vernacular Photography, when the model of this stunning photo by Avery Willard came forward.

One of our favorite lots, a collection of photographs relating to gay life in New York in the 1970s, contained several glamorous shots of a dark-haired model in drag modeling couture for photographer Avery Willard. We were thrilled when the model himself showed up at our preview–with one of the beautiful outfits shown in the photos!

It turns out that Adrian, who at one time performed in New York’s drag clubs, made the costume himself, embellishing it with hundreds of hand-sewn sequins. He also worked in the wardrobe departments of Broadway shows and the City Opera. We were lucky to get some photos of this joyful and kind person with our Photograph Department staff—and with his amazing fashion creation.