Art Collector’s Manhattan “Phallus Palace”

Charles Leslie (art collector and founder of Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, among other things) has an apartment in Manhattan that’s full of homoerotic art. It’s so full that it’s been dubbed the Phallus Palace. From site-specific murals to ancient artifacts, sculptures, souvenirs, embroidered cushions, tapestries, photography, painting and beyond, it’s a treasure trove that has every inch of the walls and tables and plenty of floor space covered. Leslie—who is also an activist—began the collection in the 1950s and says, “It seems strange to people now, but one of the impulses behind our collection was simply political.” At a time when gay imagery was evident predominantly in porn, he says, “Anything specifically male-oriented still had this tincture, this stain of something obscene about it… Why should the penis be so terrifying to everybody?” Take a look inside the wonderland and find out more at Artsy.