Beefcake: 100% Rare, All-Natural

A fun and humorous treasure trove of extremely rare, all-American beefcake pinups. From the author of Bunny Yeager’s Darkroom and Bettie Page comes Beefcake, a Herculean collection of male nudes culled from vintage magazines of men for men. A lighthearted celebration of the male physique at its best, this entertaining volume features sporty and wholesome specimens championing the ideal male figure. Beefcake includes photos selected from private collections of rare male pinups from the 1940s to pre-disco, but it also showcases images and layouts from physique magazines with titles like Muscle, Adonis, International Nudist Sun, Tomorrow’s Man, and Buck and Champ. Many of the photos featured are previously unseen—and highly collectible—works from the hugely influential photographer Bruce of Los Angeles, Kovert of Hollywood, Western Photography Guild, Don Whitman, and Kris Studio, as well as from the edgy and previously unpublished D. R. Parker and the covert Karoll of Havana.Arranged thematically with chapters such as Peak of Perfection, Swords & Sandals, Dare Devils, Locker Room, Demi Gods, Lonely Sailor, Rugged & Rough, and Gladiator, and celebrating the midcentury graphic design of the magazine covers and interiors, Beefcake is a fun and witty tribute to male physique photography.

About The Author

Petra Mason is a cultural historian and creative director who partners with Books & Books Press. She is the author of several books, including Bunny Yeager’s Darkroom and Bettie Page: Queen of Curves.

  • Publish Date: March 03, 2015
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Photography - Subjects & Themes - Nudes
  • Publisher: Universe
  • Trim Size: 8-1/2 x 11
  • Pages: 256
  • US Price: $50.00
  • CDN Price: $50.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-7893-2924-0


"From daredevils to demigods, cowboys to sailors, there's a prime cut here for everyone." -Out Magazine

"According to [Petra] Mason, “The hallmark of beefcake is its unaffected playfulness and physicality”—qualities in abundance throughout the 256-page hardcover that features 200 color and black-and-white photographs. . . " -Frontiers Media

"A steamy new book from Petra Mason and published by Universe [at Rizzoli] brings you some of the hottest vintage male imagery from the mid-twentieth century. Called Beefcake, this incredible documentation comes complete with a foreword from drag legend Lady Bunny." -Huffington Post

You Have To Own. A lighthearted celebration of the male physique at its best, this entertaining volume features sporty and wholesome specimens championing the ideal male figure. . . with titles like “Peak of Perfection,” “Swords & Sandals,” “Dare Devils,” “Locker Room,” “Demi Gods,” “Lonely Sailor,” “Rugged & Rough,” and “Gladiator,” which you can just about imagine without even seeing (though you must see them. You MUST)!” –American Standard Time

"For Petra Mason, the editor of Beefcake: 100% Rare, All Natural, published by Rizzoli, trying to track down the [history of "beefcake" photography] and, more significantly, the holders of the copyrights, turned out to be a bit like falling down a rabbit hole. . . . 'It was an amazing journey in terms of many months of research to try to find the right people.'" 
"It is ALL good in this glamorous worship of the athletes who posed for beefcake photos when they were illegal. Today, we can honor them." -Vintage Sleaze

"Celebrate the season of rising sap with Beefcake: 100: Rare, All-Natural, a splendid, over-sized collection of male pin-up photography from the 1940s through the 1970s, lovingly curated by cultural historian Petra Mason. . . . there's still a frisson of the forbidden to many of these photos, and a special allure in the models' wholesome, clean-cut appearance and lack of self-absorbed porn-star attitude." -Passport Magazine 

"Still, it isn't the way these men imitate Greek sculpture that makes these pictures art -- the curve of the models arms, the point of their feet, the splay of their fingers or the firmly rooted placement of their torsos -- it is the way the photos carefully craft eroticism and desire." -Edge Media Network

Author Bookshelf: Petra Mason