Bernarr Macfadden and the American Physical Culture Movement: Selections from the Gift of Robert J. Young

February 05 2010 - April 05 2010
Third Floor, Rare Book and Special Collections Library Vestibule

This installation commemorates the recent passing of Robert J. Young, a long-time supporter of The Wolfsonian–FIU, with a selection of physical culture material he generously donated over the years. Mr. Young was a life-long advocate of healthy living through sunbathing, attention to physical fitness and exercise, proper diet and nutrition, and abstinence from smoking. He was also a great admirer and collector of the publications of Bernarr Macfadden (1868–1955), a pioneer of the American physical culture movement, a body-builder, and a self-made millionaire. Macfadden used his publishing empire to distribute popular magazines and books that championed his crusade against Victorian prudery, exposed early twentieth-century medical establishment quackery, and advocated better living through a healthy diet and physical fitness.