Private Birthday Party

private-birthday-party-04.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2xLike Vivian Maier’s collection of photography, another stash of historically important images have recently surfaced. The bulk of this cache consists of posed portraits and candid shots from ‘private parties’ of drag queens at “The Colony”, a Kansas City night club during the pre-Stonewall era of the late 1950s and 1960s. The images exist in slide form and were recovered in two separate incidents by Robert Chase Heishman and Michael Boles. Heishman discovered a slide carousel – labeled “Jack’s Slides: Chicago and Kansas City” in 2006 amongst the rubble of a salvage yard in Kansas City. Two years later, while helping a friend move, Boles discovered a shoe box of slides as well as some letters from the same ‘Jack’ identified on the carousel.

In 2012 the two men learned of each other’s discovery and realized their finds were by the same photographer. Heishman and Boles pooled their collection of over 150 images and created the Private Birthday Party collection.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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