For lifelong Minnesota resident John Hustad, photography has been his career and his passion. The longevity of captured imagery was appealing to him. “It was about storytelling and it was about capturing these decisive moments,” he says.
He had a rare opportunity in September 1975, when he found himself at a swanky party hosted by wealthy gay businessmen Gordon Locksley and George Shea at their Mount Curve Avenue mansion.
The star of that party? None other than the king of pop art, Andy Warhol.
While Warhol was already a household name by the time he strolled through the doors of that Minneapolis palace, Gordon Locksley and George Shea were local celebrities in their own right. “They were really larger than life,” Hustad says. The pair of art dealers commissioned Warhol to paint their portraits and sold Warhol’s artwork out of their popular Red Carpet hair salon. Locksley and Shea were also the proprietors one of the city’s first openly gay bars.
At the party, Hustad felt like a fish out of water.
“It was like New York had come to Minneapolis.”
He recalls, “It was quite a menagerie of people. There were lots of outlandish outfits for the time – and lots of eye candy.”
He spotted Warhol sitting in a corner and asked his permission to photograph him for the evening.
Armed with his 24mm wide angle lens, he had to get very close to fill the frame. Remembering the evening, he says,
“I was in his face the rest of the evening.”
The photos were almost lost. The negatives had disappeared, and his roll of proofs was in “dreadful condition.” But after hours scanning and cleaning up the images in Photoshop, he managed to restore the priceless images. And as a result, photos of an art icon that have never been seen by the world are making their debut 40 years later.
Warhol and Mia
Over the years, Mia has featured the works of Andy Warhol in thematic exhibitions, and currently maintains an impressive collection of his art that has been gifted to the museum’s Department of Prints & Drawings. Although a small fraction are on view at any given time, the public can explore more than 40,000 prints and 3,000 drawings in what is considered “Mia’s hidden treasure chest,” the Herschel V. Jones Print Study Room.
Schedule an appointment to explore this collection:
by phone (612) 870-3105 or by e-mail ([email protected]).
This story is part of “Out North: MNLGBTQ History,” a Twin Cities PBS Original documentary that explores the untold past of Minnesota’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, and celebrates the strides the state has made since the gay liberation movement began in the 1970s.
This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.
GET INVOLVED IN PRIDE MONTH
Join TPT at Mia’s Stonewall at 50
Join us for a free evening of readings, performances, and gallery conversations exploring LGBTQ+ identities and reflecting on the significance of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Co-curated by poet, politician, and transgender rights activist Andrea Jenkins.
Friday June 14th from 6pm – 9pm
Out North: MNLGBTQ History will air in two parts during our weekly history series, Minnesota Experience, on June 10 and 17 at 9 pm on TPT 2.
Loring Park may be the official destination of the annual Minneapolis Pride Festival, but it was also the site of Joel Larson’s murder. A young, gay man, Joel’s friends and family installed a bench in his honor with the ambition of helping others “turn their back on hate.” Watch his story.
Explore the evolution of Pride guides, from quickly disposable fliers to magazine-like booklets in “Open Up a Historic Pride Guide to See What’s Inside.”
Discover how many Native American tribes have long accepted people who identify as both masculine and feminine in “A Third Gender Identity Has Existed for Centuries.”
Learn about longtime Minnesota LGBTQ+ history chronicler – and Out North: MNLGBTQ History advisor – Stewart Van Cleve in this profile story.