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Kings in Their Castles is the first book in Atwood's series, Kings & Queens in Their Castles, which has been called one of the most ambitious photo series ever conducted of the LGBTQ experience in the USA.  Over 15 years, Atwood photographed more than 350 subjects at home nationwide, including nearly 100 luminaries.  With individuals from about 30 states, Atwood offers a window into the lives and homes of some of America's most intriguing and eccentric personalities.



Modern day tableaux vivants, the images portray whimsical, intimate moments of daily life that shift between the pictorial and the theatrical.  Among the luminaries depicted in this first book are:


  • John Waters – Director of Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, Pecker, Serial Mom

  • Edward Albee – Playwright and author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

  • Ross Bleckner – Renowned painter

  • Michael Cunningham – Author of The Hours

  • Simon Doonan – Television personality and Barneys NY creative director

  • Tommy Tune – Ten time Tony-winning performer and National Medal of Arts winner

  • Joel Schumacher – Director of Phantom of the Opera, Batman & Robin, St. Elmo’s Fire

  • Todd Oldham – Designer and television host

  • John Bartlett – Fashion designer

  • Sean Maloney – US Congressman

  • Edmund White – Renowned writer

  • Ned Rorem – Pulitzer-winning composer and author of The Paris Diary

  • Tom O’Horgan – Director of original Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar

  • Andrew Solomon – National Book Award-winning writer

  • John Ashbery – Pulitzer-winning Poet Laureate of New York

  • Thomas Lanigan Schmidt – Acclaimed painter

  • Jess Cagle – Editorial director of People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly

  • Junior Vasquez – World famous DJ

  • Richard Howard – Pulitzer-winning poet

  • Bill Sofield – Chief architect of Gucci stores

  • David Del Tredici – Pulitzer-winning composer

  • And many others


All images are available as 18" prints in editions of ten

Publisher:  University of Wisconsin Press

Distributor:  University of Chicago Press

Format:  Cloth hardcover

“Rare, capricious moments that shimmer with emotion and intimacy.”
– Publishers Weekly


"The most rounded photographic record we have ever had of the gay urban experience. This book should find a special place on the list of all the inventions that have long drawn gay men from the heartland into New York – everything from the rhythms of West Side Story to the short stories of the New Yorker, the epiphanies of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the plots of Edmund White."
– Charles Kaiser, Columbia University

“Lush, lively evocations of creative living at its most humorous and engaged... This book is guaranteed to open your eyes and at the very least, it will inspire you to hire an interior decorator.”
– Amy Sohn, New York Magazine


"With acute sensitivity and striking visual flair, Atwood penetrates
secret lairs... resulting in brilliantly-constructed stages
displaying uninhibited flights of imaginative fantasy."

– Arthur Tress, Photographer

“A modern day Gainsborough.”
– Genre Magazine

“Dynamic, mysterious, magical, Atwood has mastered the essential but most elusive element of his art, which is light.”

– Edmund White, Novelist


View Party & Opening Photos


Read Artist's Statement

Read Foreword

Purchase Books or Prints





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