Leather Archives & Museum

Leather Archives & Museum Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) is a library, museum and archive located on the North Side of Chicago. Our mission is to make leather, kink, B**M, and fe**sh accessible through research, preservation, education and community engagement.
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All s*xual orientations and genders are included, and the scope is worldwide! The library houses twelve thousand books and fourteen thousand magazines, plus scholarly publications, films and electronic resources. As for the museum collection, it's full of original erotic art and artifacts from alternative s*x organizations and individuals. The archives (viewable by appointment) contain unpublished papers and records from notable B**M activists, artists, businesses and organizations.

Operating as usual

Quote from Partners in Power: Living in Kinky Relationships by Jack Rinella (2003). Photo from American Grizzly 27 (2004...
05/07/2021

Quote from Partners in Power: Living in Kinky Relationships by Jack Rinella (2003). Photo from American Grizzly 27 (2004). #tradition #lgbtq #leathercommunity

[The question of tradition itself raises an interesting and important paradox. Though we do have "traditions," since we are communities with histories, our first tradition is that we are not traditional. To think that our forebears were establishing mores and structures that they wanted us to follow blindly is to totally miss their true intentions. They made personal freedom far more important than rules and regulations, even ones they held in the highest regard. This was a contradiction for them too, as they would exclude others whose expression of freedom was different than theirs. They were human, and contradiction is a very human quality.]

Quote from Partners in Power: Living in Kinky Relationships by Jack Rinella (2003). Photo from American Grizzly 27 (2004). #tradition #lgbtq #leathercommunity

[The question of tradition itself raises an interesting and important paradox. Though we do have "traditions," since we are communities with histories, our first tradition is that we are not traditional. To think that our forebears were establishing mores and structures that they wanted us to follow blindly is to totally miss their true intentions. They made personal freedom far more important than rules and regulations, even ones they held in the highest regard. This was a contradiction for them too, as they would exclude others whose expression of freedom was different than theirs. They were human, and contradiction is a very human quality.]

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here are some of the resources related to AAPI kink hist...
05/06/2021

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here are some of the resources related to AAPI kink history available at the @leatherarchives (now open to visitors Thursday-Sunday).

Check out the Asian Leather and Kink Alliance (on Twitter), Asian American Feminist Collective, SWAN Vancouver (Supports & Advocacy for Im/Migrant Women Engaged in Indoor S*x Work), Red Canary Song (organizing with migrant & Asian s*x workers in NYC), and Butterfly (the Asian and Migrant S*x Workers Support Network).

Hollaback! is also offering free online training in bystander invention to stop anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment (next session on May 14). #aapiheritagemonth #stopasianhate #leathercommunity #swresources

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here are some of the resources related to AAPI kink history available at the @leatherarchives (now open to visitors Thursday-Sunday).

Check out the Asian Leather and Kink Alliance (on Twitter), Asian American Feminist Collective, SWAN Vancouver (Supports & Advocacy for Im/Migrant Women Engaged in Indoor S*x Work), Red Canary Song (organizing with migrant & Asian s*x workers in NYC), and Butterfly (the Asian and Migrant S*x Workers Support Network).

Hollaback! is also offering free online training in bystander invention to stop anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment (next session on May 14). #aapiheritagemonth #stopasianhate #leathercommunity #swresources

Quote from It's Not About The Whip: Love, S*x, and Spirituality in the B**M Scene by Sensuous Sadie (2003). Photo from W...
05/05/2021

Quote from It's Not About The Whip: Love, S*x, and Spirituality in the B**M Scene by Sensuous Sadie (2003). Photo from Wicked Women Vol 4 No 3 (1992). #erotics #intimacy

[Define it how you want, but the erotic tension is in there somewhere, a strand as delicate as a filament or as powerful as a cable. Even so, it's only partly about the s*x. What it's really about is intimacy, which covers all those lists and whatever new ones I come up with.]

Quote from It's Not About The Whip: Love, S*x, and Spirituality in the B**M Scene by Sensuous Sadie (2003). Photo from Wicked Women Vol 4 No 3 (1992). #erotics #intimacy

[Define it how you want, but the erotic tension is in there somewhere, a strand as delicate as a filament or as powerful as a cable. Even so, it's only partly about the s*x. What it's really about is intimacy, which covers all those lists and whatever new ones I come up with.]

Join us Tuesday night for a great figure drawing session. All skill levels welcome (including no skill at all!)
05/03/2021

Join us Tuesday night for a great figure drawing session. All skill levels welcome (including no skill at all!)

Join us Tuesday night for a great figure drawing session. All skill levels welcome (including no skill at all!)

Photo from the Vern Stewart collection at the @leatherarchives. #leathercontests #titleholders #leathercommunity
05/03/2021

Photo from the Vern Stewart collection at the @leatherarchives. #leathercontests #titleholders #leathercommunity

Photo from the Vern Stewart collection at the @leatherarchives. #leathercontests #titleholders #leathercommunity

The Sixty Nine Club (founded 1965 in London) at an international event in 1977. Photo from the Manfred Gerhard collectio...
05/02/2021

The Sixty Nine Club (founded 1965 in London) at an international event in 1977. Photo from the Manfred Gerhard collection at the @leatherarchives. #motorcycleclubs #gayhistory #seventies

The Sixty Nine Club (founded 1965 in London) at an international event in 1977. Photo from the Manfred Gerhard collection at the @leatherarchives. #motorcycleclubs #gayhistory #seventies

Quote from The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry (1985). Photo of Kim Bittner (Michelle Bauer) from Bound to Please Vol 3 No...
05/01/2021

Quote from The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry (1985). Photo of Kim Bittner (Michelle Bauer) from Bound to Please Vol 3 No 10 (1984). #philosophy #screamqueens

[Physical pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it, bringing about an immediate reversion to a state anterior to language, to the sounds and cries a human being makes before language is learned.]

Quote from The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry (1985). Photo of Kim Bittner (Michelle Bauer) from Bound to Please Vol 3 No 10 (1984). #philosophy #screamqueens

[Physical pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it, bringing about an immediate reversion to a state anterior to language, to the sounds and cries a human being makes before language is learned.]

Quote from Sadomasochism by Bill Thompson (1994). Photo from Males in Love Bo***ge No 1 (1996). #bo***ge #freud #psychs*...
04/30/2021

Quote from Sadomasochism by Bill Thompson (1994). Photo from Males in Love Bo***ge No 1 (1996). #bo***ge #freud #psychs*x #hists*x

[Freudians did not like fe**shists, who they believed were unwilling to be treated because they simply refused to see they had a problem. So for the next fifty years this deviation was subject to the usual babble.]

Quote from Sadomasochism by Bill Thompson (1994). Photo from Males in Love Bo***ge No 1 (1996). #bo***ge #freud #psychs*x #hists*x

[Freudians did not like fe**shists, who they believed were unwilling to be treated because they simply refused to see they had a problem. So for the next fifty years this deviation was subject to the usual babble.]

Quote from After Stonewall 25 by Harold Cox in Checkmate No 9 (Aug 1994). Photo of men at Folsom Street Fair 2012 by Ric...
04/28/2021

Quote from After Stonewall 25 by Harold Cox in Checkmate No 9 (Aug 1994). Photo of men at Folsom Street Fair 2012 by Rich Trove. #folsomstreet #leathercommunity #lgbtq

[Unfortunately, the consolidation of the S/M community has been accompanied by a division within gay ranks. Flamboyance in dress and non-vanilla relationships are brought into question by those who feel that those who dress oddly or who like to whip people or tie them up provide ammunition for the common enemy. The fragmentation which results is virtually without limit, even within the S/M community.]

Quote from After Stonewall 25 by Harold Cox in Checkmate No 9 (Aug 1994). Photo of men at Folsom Street Fair 2012 by Rich Trove. #folsomstreet #leathercommunity #lgbtq

[Unfortunately, the consolidation of the S/M community has been accompanied by a division within gay ranks. Flamboyance in dress and non-vanilla relationships are brought into question by those who feel that those who dress oddly or who like to whip people or tie them up provide ammunition for the common enemy. The fragmentation which results is virtually without limit, even within the S/M community.]

Help us raise funds for a Spring "facelift" for our amazing home!
04/28/2021
Making LAM S*xy on the Outside

Help us raise funds for a Spring "facelift" for our amazing home!

It's the 30th anniversary of Leather Archives and Museum, and the 21st year in our building on Greenview Ave, a former Synagogue that now provides sanctuary to our collected history. The exterior is showing its age and needs a little love! Funds r...

The first Mr. & Ms. Olympus Leather Ron Hendon and Daddy Flo on the cover of The Leather Journal No 81 (Apr 1996). #olym...
04/28/2021

The first Mr. & Ms. Olympus Leather Ron Hendon and Daddy Flo on the cover of The Leather Journal No 81 (Apr 1996). #olympusleather #leatherjournal #nineties #titleholders

The first Mr. & Ms. Olympus Leather Ron Hendon and Daddy Flo on the cover of The Leather Journal No 81 (Apr 1996). #olympusleather #leatherjournal #nineties #titleholders

Miss Vera's Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls at New York Pride 1994. Photo from the Ed Grabow collection a...
04/26/2021

Miss Vera's Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls at New York Pride 1994. Photo from the Ed Grabow collection at the @leatherarchives. #missvera #nypride

Miss Vera's Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls at New York Pride 1994. Photo from the Ed Grabow collection at the @leatherarchives. #missvera #nypride

Leather bar ads from The Leather Journal (ca 1996). #leatherbars #nineties #gaybars
04/25/2021

Leather bar ads from The Leather Journal (ca 1996). #leatherbars #nineties #gaybars

Leather bar ads from The Leather Journal (ca 1996). #leatherbars #nineties #gaybars

Quote from Sapphistry: The Book of Le***an S*xuality by Patrick Califia (1980). Photo from Bound to Please Vol 3 No 10 (...
04/24/2021

Quote from Sapphistry: The Book of Le***an S*xuality by Patrick Califia (1980). Photo from Bound to Please Vol 3 No 10 (1984). #sadomasochism #powerexchange #sapphistry

[Knowing that another woman is willing to trust you, give herself up to you, and suffer for you is a heady experience.]

Quote from Sapphistry: The Book of Le***an S*xuality by Patrick Califia (1980). Photo from Bound to Please Vol 3 No 10 (1984). #sadomasochism #powerexchange #sapphistry

[Knowing that another woman is willing to trust you, give herself up to you, and suffer for you is a heady experience.]

Quote from Making a Master/slave Relationship by Master Ron K. in The Leather Journal No 62 (Sep 1994). Photo from Ameri...
04/23/2021

Quote from Making a Master/slave Relationship by Master Ron K. in The Leather Journal No 62 (Sep 1994). Photo from American Grizzly 3 (1998). #powerexchange

[My slave must learn to trust me and to communicate their needs to me clearly and without hiding a single piece of information. I must also learn to trust them and their commitment to me and to demonstrate that trust by communicating my needs to them. In a Master/slave relationship there are no substitutes for complete trust and open communication.]

Quote from Making a Master/slave Relationship by Master Ron K. in The Leather Journal No 62 (Sep 1994). Photo from American Grizzly 3 (1998). #powerexchange

[My slave must learn to trust me and to communicate their needs to me clearly and without hiding a single piece of information. I must also learn to trust them and their commitment to me and to demonstrate that trust by communicating my needs to them. In a Master/slave relationship there are no substitutes for complete trust and open communication.]

Quote from S/M: Some Questions and a Few Answers by Carol Truscott (in Leatherfolk, ed. Mark Thompson, 1991). Photo of L...
04/22/2021

Quote from S/M: Some Questions and a Few Answers by Carol Truscott (in Leatherfolk, ed. Mark Thompson, 1991). Photo of Lady Dymund from Boot Camp Vol 2 No 2 (2002). #fe**om #powerexchange #malesub

[Nowhere is it written in the annals of consensual sadomasochism that a person is consigned to a particular role relationship based on her or his ge****ls. What is written is that people are encouraged to explore their own fantasies, their own desires, and to search for partners whose fantasies and desires are complementary, regardless of gender or orientation.]

Quote from S/M: Some Questions and a Few Answers by Carol Truscott (in Leatherfolk, ed. Mark Thompson, 1991). Photo of Lady Dymund from Boot Camp Vol 2 No 2 (2002). #fe**om #powerexchange #malesub

[Nowhere is it written in the annals of consensual sadomasochism that a person is consigned to a particular role relationship based on her or his ge****ls. What is written is that people are encouraged to explore their own fantasies, their own desires, and to search for partners whose fantasies and desires are complementary, regardless of gender or orientation.]

Stop by and see us today......free thanks to our friends at CLAW!
04/22/2021

Stop by and see us today......free thanks to our friends at CLAW!

Stop by and see us today......free thanks to our friends at CLAW!

The Gold Cost staff in 1977. Photograph by A Thousand Words Unlimited from the Chuck Renslow collection at the @leathera...
04/22/2021

The Gold Cost staff in 1977. Photograph by A Thousand Words Unlimited from the Chuck Renslow collection at the @leatherarchives. #leatherbars #seventies #gayhistory #lgbtchicago

The Gold Cost staff in 1977. Photograph by A Thousand Words Unlimited from the Chuck Renslow collection at the @leatherarchives. #leatherbars #seventies #gayhistory #lgbtchicago

"Captain Bloomer" and "Captain Cincher" from Bizarre No 12 (1953). #crossdressing #corsets #midcenturyfashion #hists*x
04/20/2021

"Captain Bloomer" and "Captain Cincher" from Bizarre No 12 (1953). #crossdressing #corsets #midcenturyfashion #hists*x

"Captain Bloomer" and "Captain Cincher" from Bizarre No 12 (1953). #crossdressing #corsets #midcenturyfashion #hists*x

Quote from The Celluloid Closet by Vito Russo (1981). Photo by Christine Vilm from On Our Backs (Spring 1988). #tomboys ...
04/18/2021

Quote from The Celluloid Closet by Vito Russo (1981). Photo by Christine Vilm from On Our Backs (Spring 1988). #tomboys #butch #sissy #gender #hists*x

[The stigma of tomboy has been less than that of sissy because lesbianism is never allowed to become a threatening reality any more than female s*xuality of other kinds.]

Quote from The Celluloid Closet by Vito Russo (1981). Photo by Christine Vilm from On Our Backs (Spring 1988). #tomboys #butch #sissy #gender #hists*x

[The stigma of tomboy has been less than that of sissy because lesbianism is never allowed to become a threatening reality any more than female s*xuality of other kinds.]

AIDS Emergency Fund marchers at Leather Walk 2001. Photo from the John B collection at the @leatherarchives. #aidsemerge...
04/18/2021

AIDS Emergency Fund marchers at Leather Walk 2001. Photo from the John B collection at the @leatherarchives. #aidsemergencyfund #lgbtsf #sanfrancisco #leatherwalk

AIDS Emergency Fund marchers at Leather Walk 2001. Photo from the John B collection at the @leatherarchives. #aidsemergencyfund #lgbtsf #sanfrancisco #leatherwalk

Quote from The Seductive Art of Japanese Rope Bo***ge by Midori (2001). Photo from Holly Learns the Ropes No 1 (1982). #...
04/17/2021

Quote from The Seductive Art of Japanese Rope Bo***ge by Midori (2001). Photo from Holly Learns the Ropes No 1 (1982). #ropebo***ge #midori

[Lovers and SM players are inherently restless seekers of heightened experience.]

Quote from The Seductive Art of Japanese Rope Bo***ge by Midori (2001). Photo from Holly Learns the Ropes No 1 (1982). #ropebo***ge #midori

[Lovers and SM players are inherently restless seekers of heightened experience.]

Quote from For a Pornoscape by Paul Willemen (in More Dirty Looks, 2004). Photo from the Cocoon catalog in the @leathera...
04/16/2021

Quote from For a Pornoscape by Paul Willemen (in More Dirty Looks, 2004). Photo from the Cocoon catalog in the @leatherarchives collections. #taboo #hists*x

[Fortunately, no taboo was ever capable of erasing what it sought to obliterate, and this is true of both s*x and cognition. On the contrary, to impose a taboo on something offers a sure-fire guarantee that whatever is thus put under erasure, is sustained as an object of desire.]

Quote from For a Pornoscape by Paul Willemen (in More Dirty Looks, 2004). Photo from the Cocoon catalog in the @leatherarchives collections. #taboo #hists*x

[Fortunately, no taboo was ever capable of erasing what it sought to obliterate, and this is true of both s*x and cognition. On the contrary, to impose a taboo on something offers a sure-fire guarantee that whatever is thus put under erasure, is sustained as an object of desire.]

Join us at 7pm central (8pm eastern)!
04/15/2021

Join us at 7pm central (8pm eastern)!

Join us on Thursday, April 15th, at 8pm eastern/7pm central for the Leather Lap/Top Variety Show. Raquel Phillips will be joined by our very special guest Jackie Thompson. Archivist Mel will be on hand to share some items from the vaults, while we laugh, learn and love with our kink friends and family. Zoom link will be posted in the FB event listing.

Join us on Thursday, April 15th, at 8pm eastern/7pm central for the Leather Lap/Top Variety Show. Raquel Phillips will b...
04/06/2021

Join us on Thursday, April 15th, at 8pm eastern/7pm central for the Leather Lap/Top Variety Show. Raquel Phillips will be joined by our very special guest Jackie Thompson. Archivist Mel will be on hand to share some items from the vaults, while we laugh, learn and love with our kink friends and family. Zoom link will be posted in the FB event listing.

Join us on Thursday, April 15th, at 8pm eastern/7pm central for the Leather Lap/Top Variety Show. Raquel Phillips will be joined by our very special guest Jackie Thompson. Archivist Mel will be on hand to share some items from the vaults, while we laugh, learn and love with our kink friends and family. Zoom link will be posted in the FB event listing.

Our new membership pin is here! Get yours when you join or renew, while they last! Amazing artwork by JJ McLuckie.
04/02/2021

Our new membership pin is here! Get yours when you join or renew, while they last! Amazing artwork by JJ McLuckie.

Our new membership pin is here! Get yours when you join or renew, while they last! Amazing artwork by JJ McLuckie.

Visit LAM today from 11am-7pm.....it’s free every Thursday thanks to our friends at CLAW.
04/01/2021

Visit LAM today from 11am-7pm.....it’s free every Thursday thanks to our friends at CLAW.

Visit LAM today from 11am-7pm.....it’s free every Thursday thanks to our friends at CLAW.

Get your juices flowing with a mug of something hot! Now flagging red AND yellow!
03/23/2021
Four Letter Mugs | Leather Archives & Museum Store

Get your juices flowing with a mug of something hot! Now flagging red AND yellow!

Start your morning with a cup of your favorite warm beverage! These 11oz mugs feature the artwork of Etienne, and the LAM logo on the back. The mug has a white exterior, and flags yellow or red inside and on the handle.

Address

6418 N Greenview Ave
Chicago, IL
60626

Directions to the LA&M The Leather Archives & Museum is located at 6418 N. Greenview Ave. Just 2 doors north of the corner of Devon Ave. & Greenview Ave. We are nextdoor to the Citgo gas station @ Devon and Greenview. The closest major intersection is Clark St. & Devon Ave. Greenview is 2 blocks east of Clark St. Via Public Transportation CTA Bus #s 36-Broadway, 151-Sheridan and 155-Devon stop at the corner of Devon and Greenview. CTA Red Line – Loyola street stop. About a 10 minute walk to the LA&M, or board the #155-Devon bus westbound at the Loyola stop. Walking : Out of the El station, walk south (under the L tracks) on Sheridan Road. At the second stoplight, Devon Ave., turn right. Walk about 6 blocks to Greenview Ave. Turn right at the corner of Devon and Greenview. Via Car From the loop or boystown : Get onto Lake Shore Drive northbound. Take Lake Shore Drive until it ends at Sheridan Rd. Turn right onto Sheridan, so you'll be heading north. Sheridan will curve to the left. Stay in the left lane, as Sheridan Road becomes Devon Ave. Continue west for 6 blocks to Greenview Ave. Parking is available on the street. From the north or west : Take I-294 or I-94 to Touhy Ave. Take Touhy Ave. east to Western Avenue. Go right on Western to Devon Ave. Go left on Devon Ave. to Greenview Ave. Turn left on Greenview Ave. Parking is available on the street.

General information

The 10,000 sq. foot, two-story building holds eight exhibition galleries; a climate controlled archival storage space; a 164-seat auditorium; the G.A.G. Contemporary Fe**sh Gallery, with rotating exhibits by renowned and emerging fe**sh artists from around the world; and a 600 sq. foot reading library to store the research collections.

Opening Hours

Thursday 11:00 - 19:00
Friday 11:00 - 19:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(773) 761-9200

Alerts

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Our Story

All sexual orientations and genders are included, and the scope is worldwide! The library houses twelve thousand books and fourteen thousand magazines, plus scholarly publications, films and electronic resources. As for the museum collection, it's full of original erotic art and artifacts from alternative sex organizations and individuals. The archives (viewable by appointment) contain unpublished papers and records from notable BDSM activists, artists, businesses and organizations.


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