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James Gardiner Collection: photograph album labelled Drag.

[between 1860 and 1980?]
Part of
The James Gardiner Collection. Photographs.
  • Pictures

Collection contents

Online resources

  • Related materials at Wellcome Library Listen to an interview with James Gardiner: View resource

About this work

Also known as

Black album labelled drag


The album contains a range of postcards, largely photographic, depicting drag in music hall, commercial theatre, pantomime and amateur theatricals, 1860-1950. Styles range from comedic and pantomime drag characters, glamour drag, quick change artists, historical characters, and celebrity impersonators. Whilst female impersonation and theatrical drag during the late 19th and 20th centuries was seen as primarily a form of entertainment by mainstream audiences, the images can also be read to show hidden sexual and gender non-conforming identities. Some of the postcards contain a description given by Gardiner which provide a queer reading or further contextual information on the image and its subjects. Many of the postcards include inscribed dedications on the front and some also contain messages on the reverse.


[between 1860 and 1980?]

Physical description

1 photograph album containing 266 items: silver gelatin and process prints


Wellcome Library no. 2914633i


  • English

Where to find it

  • Photograph album labelled ‘Drag'

    Closed stores


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