LA&M receives large collections from Rochester Rams and Ira C. Smith


Photo courtesy of LA&M
Erotic artist Ira C. Smith

CHICAGO – The Leather Archives & Museum announced today that it has acquired two new collections, the records from the Rochester Rams and the papers of artist Ira C. Smith.  They will join the permanent collections at the LA&M and be made available to scholars, leatherfolk and all patrons. Parts of both collections will be digitized as they are processed and be made available on the LA&M website.

Melinda Chateauvert Ph.D., a Board Director and member of the Collection Committee for the institution said “These collections add great depth to the holdings of the Leather Archives. Photographs and club records are primary source material for scholars seeking to understand the history and community-building for leathermen and women living in smaller cities and towns across the U.S. while art collections such as Smith’s document the development of our collective erotic imagination and aesthetic.”

The Rochester Rams M.C. [motorcycle club] was founded in 1973 and continues operating today in Rochester, NY.  The club’s records include meeting minutes, run information, photos, films and memorabilia.  The organization hosts social events at a local bar, publishes a newsletter, and organizes two large annual events for men interested in leather.   

Ira C. Smith is a native New York artist whose drawings first graced the pages of America’s erotic magazines in 1990. Since that time, his style and diversity of subject matter have grown, as has his reputation and the demand for his work. Working primarily in pencil, Ira draws from live models and photographs.  His papers, including letters, an index of published works, sketches and other memorabilia join several of his pieces already in the permanent collections at the LA&M.  His works also reside in  the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation in New York and have hung in galleries across the United States and Europe.