Author(s): Michel Hurst
Some time ago, while at a New York flea market, inveterate collectors Michael Hurst and Robert Swope discovered a large body of snapshots: album after aged album of well-preserved images, taken roughly between the mid-50s and mid-60s, depicting a group of cross-dressers united around a place called Casa Susanna, a rather large and charmingly banal Victorian-style house in the Catskills. The inhabitants, visitors, guests, and hosts used it as a weekend headquarters for a regular 'girl's life.' Through these intimate photos we see fashion shows, parties and family.
Michel Hurst was born in France and studied architecture in Paris. After concluding his studies, Hurst traveled the world extensively, researching and documenting various vernacular decorative arts. In 1985, he co-founded the influential twentieth century design gallery Full House in New York City with his partner Robert Swope, an artist--formerly of the musical group Beirut Slump, headed by Lydia Lunch--and filmmaker ("Too Lazy to Live"). They live and work in Easton, Pennsylvania, and New York City.