For the last forty years, Isak Lindenauer has had a nationally recognized gallery in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco devoted to fine art objects from the American Arts and Crafts movement. He has provided valuable scholarship on the Art Metal work of the Bay Area and created landmark exhibitions of August Tiesselinck, Harry Dixon, and Dirk van Erp. He has been particularly intent on promoting interest in the art and craft of Northern California men and women whose work flourished during the first quarter of the last century.
Mr. Lindenauer came to the Bay Area for college in 1963, attending the University of California at Berkeley. Passionate about personal freedom, he was arrested in the Free Speech Movement the following year. Majoring in English literature, he studied poetics and developed a lasting friendship with the poet Denise Levertov. This book represents a gathering of the core of his writings which span more than a half century.
It chronicles his fight for personal freedom as a gay man growing up in America during the years when being gay was looked upon as being a deviant, criminal, or mentally ill. It reflects on life in the 1960s: social activism, demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, the struggle for Civil Rights, the influence of Eastern spiritual thought, and his participation in the early years of the Gay Rights movement when Harvey Milk walked the streets of the Castro, the first gay neighborhood in America.
He moved to San Francisco in 1978 in the last months of Milk’s life and has remained an active merchant and resident of the neighborhood ever since. Like so many others of his generation, he was swept up in all of these social changes. He also lived through the worst years here when the AIDS epidemic ravaged this city and changed its inhabitants forever. These writings share his personal journey for the first time.