Jim Stewart [Edit]

Jim Stewart (1942-2018) was an American leatherman well-known as a photographer and writer.


In 1975, Jack Fritscher sponsored Stewart’s move to San Francisco.

In 1976, Stewart became one of the first leather artists to move South of Market to Clementina Street (still within San Francisco).

In 1977, as a carpenter he built San Francisco’s first known homoerotic art gallery, Fey-Way Studios, at 1287 Howard Street. The gallery, owned by Robert Opel, helped bring such erotic gay artists as Tom of Finland and Robert Mapplethorpe to national attention and showed others, such as Rex.

In the 1970s Stewart also took photos of gay nightlife in South of Market bars, during Halloween, and around the Russian River in California, some of which later appeared in the Bay Area Reporter gay bar history column he wrote in 2013 and 2014.

In 2011, his memoir Folsom Street Blues was published; in addition to writing it, he was also its cover model.

His photos of Folsom Street sexuality appeared in exhibits at bars, including the San Francisco gay leather bar the Ambush, as well as in Drummerand in the 2008 book Gay San Francisco. He also photographed (and managed) several Folsom leather bars such as Allan Lowery’s Leatherneck, and the Drummer Key Club and pool at 11th and Folsom streets.


In 2016 Jim Stewart was inducted into the Leather Hall of Fame.