Art by Rob Clarke. Photo credit: Jay PG

At every Tom of Finland Parties event (, the work of over 20 artists, spanning the globe, are digitally projected onto five screens high above the partygoers. For many this is their first exposure to this imagery, a veritable crash course in some of the legends of erotic culture. Artists shown include Tom of Finland, The Hun, Etienne, Philip Hitchcock, Derek Photo, Greasetank, Beau, Sylvester Q, Rob Clarke, Bud, Teddy of Paris, Palanca, Sean Platter, and Matt.

The greater the profit from these events, the greater the donation made to the non-profit Tom of Finland Foundation. Simply put—the more in attendance, the greater the opportunity to promote the beauty and depth of erotic art.

A gigantic projection of a work by Ted Fusby provides a backdrop for one of the party's performances. Photo credit: TimD

A Sylvester Q photograph towers above the crowded dance floor. Photo credit: TimD

Art by Greasetank surrounds the crowd.. Photo credit: Jay PG


This annual gathering, coordinated by Dan Berkowitz, is the Tom of Finland Foundation's way of showing its appreciation to its hard working volunteers, as well as a prelude to the annual autumn Art Crawl and Erotic Art Fair weekends.

While volunteer enlistment has been very successful, more volunteers are always needed. If you can spare the time, and have the inclination, call the Foundation and sign up for future "duties." A good time and convivial company are the least of the benefits. How about those special pens that were handed out at this year's event? You won't find those in the Hallmark store, or anywhere else for that matter. Talk about a cool perk!

It was a great night at the Foundation headquarters in Echo Park. The house looked fantastic. It was exciting to peruse the new yearly exhibition, freshly installed, and gratifying to see new pieces matted and framed through the timely donations of our patrons. Lacking their generosity, the opportunity to display new works would be severely curtailed. Many thanks to Art Stafford, Louis Jay, and Sharp for their continued support in making this possible.

The delicious buffet and barbecue was prepared by Durk Dehner, Foundation President, a man truly "at home on the range." Without Durk's tireless efforts over the years none of this would have been possible, or even existed. Our heartfelt thanks to him, and all the tireless volunteers who keep the Foundation humming.

It’s Christmas time again, and that means the Foundation elves, err, volunteers will party down. December 7 from 7:00 - 10:00 PM at Foundation headquarters. If you are an elf, we’ll see you at the Foundation house.

    — Mike Goldie


On February 15, 2003 from 7:30-10:00 PM, the Foundation will host the second annual Commanders’ Dinner in honor of those members who have made contributions of $250 or more. Guests are pampered with cocktails and dinner by friends from the erotic biz and our volunteer corps.

Be part of our new tradition. Upgrade your present membership status today and you¹ll be on the guest list.

...the following individuals and organizations for their generous contributions:

Palanca, Lalo, Brian Crede, Ricardo von Hafe Andrade, Hector Silva, Little Sisters Book Emporium, Thomas Waugh, Michael John Horne, Jeff Hill, the New York S&M Film Festival presented by The Eulenspiegel Society (TES), Tom Parties, and Christopher Street West.

For a unique present, consider a tax deductible donation of $50 to $500 to the Foundation in a friend’s name! We will send a card notifying them of your gift.


The Foundation is pleased to announce that Cathie Bagwell (Chief Financial Officer) and Mike Goldie have returned to its Board of Directors for another “tour of duty”. They are joined with new members, Luke Daniel and Sharp in supporting the existing members — Durk Dehner (President), Cliff Benjamin, Dan Berkowitz and Matt Blouin (Secretary).

All are available to receive Member's comments and suggestions.


The combined galleries of Echo Park, Silverlake, and Los Feliz opened early and closed late during the 5th Annual Art Crawl, held September 19-21, 2002. From the Metal Madness Gallery on Melrose Avenue @ Heliotrope at its westernmost extreme, to the Tom of Finland Foundation on Laveta Terrace in Echo Park at its easternmost point, the Crawl never moved at less than a brisk canter through 22 galleries featuring a kaleidoscopic array of painting, sculpture, and fine-art photography.

Eban Leherer displays his work Photo credit: Matthew Blouin

Originally designed in 1997 to showcase the burgeoning gallery scene on the city's Eastside, and to lure wary art aficionados who rarely ventured east of Western Avenue to the vibrant, affordable work on display there, the Crawl was an instant success and has evolved into the destination art event of the post-Labor Day season. Offering exposure to new, up-and-coming, and experimental artists, plus an alternative to the staid and pricey venues of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica, the Crawl is a raucous, informal affair more akin to a shuttle tour of Candyland than a docent-guided trip to LACMA.

At the furthest extreme of the Echo Park scene, both artistically and geographically, and as one of its pioneering spaces, the Tom of Finland Foundation is often the last stop and highlight of many art-crawlers' day. Housed in a three-story Craftsman house dating to the first decade of the last century, the Foundation attracted a lively mix of newcomers and old friends during the three-day event, which also serves as a prelude to the annual, Foundation-sponsored Erotic Art Fair, October 11-13.

The crowning moment, literally, of the Foundation tour is always the attic archives with its adjoining bedroom, the Los Angeles residence and workspace of Tom of Finland from 1980-1990. Maintained in its original condition since his death in 1991, the room—with its simple décor, peaked ceiling, and immaculately preserved notebooks and ephemera—is a poignant testament to Tom's humility as well as a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of his visual influences, references, and creative process.

Previous and current residents of the Foundation, originally a farmhouse amidst grape vineyards, have sensed the presence of a benign spirit, a friendly ghost that even Tom once claimed to have encountered in his attic room, but there were no manifestations reported during the three-day Crawl. However, the spirit of artistic adventure supplied by the numerous, enthusiastic visitors to the Foundation more than compensated for the absence of any paranormal activity, and Tom's spirit was alive and well throughout.

    — Lawrence Schubert  


The Tom of Finland Foundation is honored to be recognized, yet again, as the safe haven for works of Erotic Art, and extends its heartfelt gratitude to Nigel Kent, artist and friend, for his magnanimous living bequest to the Foundation.

Kent, who lives in Amsterdam, has named the Tom of Finland Foundation beneficiary of his personal collection of art, a significant archive containing numerous pieces by well-known erotic artists, as well as many of Kent’s own works.

Q: How did you start collecting?

A: I guess I started my collection in order to have works by other guys decorating the walls of my studio, a kind of private camaraderie that kept me keen while I was working on my own drawings. At first, whenever I sold a work, I bought one as well. Soon the walls were literally smothered with the stuff.

Over the years I’ve built quite a collection, and all originals, mind you! I’m more than happy to present my acquisitions to the Tom of Finland Foundation, affording others, at the very least, the opportunity of viewing some rather interesting work.

Q: What are the benefits of collecting art? Did your acquisitions influence you in your work?

A: For starters, it gave my place great ambience Influences…no, but that line “Come up and see my etchings…” always worked when I was picking up guys. Collecting keeps me abreast of the activities of others, and has the effect of making me feel I’m part of an extended community, a piece of an important whole.

Q: How and why would you encourage other artists or collectors to leave their collections or make a bequest to the Foundation?

A: The only thing that I can think of is to follow my example. You can make a difference by what you do in your art, as well as what you do with it.



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“I know my little ‘dirty drawings’ are never going to hang in the main salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if — I would like to say ‘when,’ but I better say ‘if’ — our world learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then maybe I could have a place in one of the smaller side rooms.” (1991)
— Tom of Finland