Skip to main content

Chris Spencer collection of male erotica photographs

Identifier: MSS 618
The Chris Spencer collection of male erotica photographs contains homoerotic photographs and illustrations primarily produced by Colt Studio. Poses are of one, two, and three individuals at a time, nude or partially clothed. Topics of the poses include hypermasculine poses of involving leather, chains, police, firefighter, cowboy, sports, motorcycles, guns, and nature. The majority of images are black and white, with a few in color. Additionally, this collection contains a small selection of photographs from the Bruce of Los Angeles studio as well as black and white narrative illustrations including illustrations by Target Studios and a 1980 narrative illustraion of African-American men by "The Hun" (Bill Schmeling).


  • Approximately 1975-1989

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Access The material is stored off site. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.


.4 Linear Feet (1 box)

Biographical / Historical

Colt Studio was founded by photographer, film maker, and publisher Jim French (1932-2017) under the pseudonym of "Rip Colt" in 1967. French was formally trained at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art from 1950-1954. The images were offered as sets of mail-order prints primarily marketed towards the gay community. Colt Studios became one of the most successful, genre-defining studios in the field.


The photographs are arranged in original order as found in binders.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquisition information is indeterminate. The collection was possibly donated by Chris Spencer in approximately 2015.

Related Materials

MSS 414 Mark Ritzenhein gay picture collection

Processing Information

Lydia Tang processed this collection in 2018. Sources consulted in the creation of this finding aid include: Paul Gorman's "'Because It's So Damn Good!' Extracts From My Exclusive Interview with Pioneering Illustrator/Photographer Jim French, Who Has Died Aged 84."
Finding Aid for the Chris Spencer collection of male erotica photographs
Lydia Tang
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48824 USA