• First and Only Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art Launches

    Date posted: April 18, 2012 Author: jolanta

     

     

    Even well after the cultural wars of the mid 1980’s, the representation of sexual difference in art has been aggressively policed. And America’s museums, with few notable exceptions, have been silent in the face of what is now the most vocal contemporary civil rights frontier. But there has never been a shortage of gay and lesbian art on display in America’s museums; what has been lacking is the courage to articulate that fact and to illustrate how the artist’s sexuality influenced his/her art.

    “Now, for the first time, a new museum in New York will finally show what has been hiding in plain sight. “

     

    Interior View, Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York. Courtesy of MOGLA.


     

    First and Only Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art Launches

    Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City Receives Museum Accreditation from State of New York

    Even well after the cultural wars of the mid 1980’s, the representation of sexual difference in art has been aggressively policed. And America’s museums, with few notable exceptions, have been silent in the face of what is now the most vocal contemporary civil rights frontier. But there has never been a shortage of gay and lesbian art on display in America’s museums; what has been lacking is the courage to articulate that fact and to illustrate how the artist’s sexuality influenced his/her art. Now, for the first time, a new museum in New York will finally show what has been hiding in plain sight. With the recent accreditation by the State of New York as an official Museum, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (MoGLA) has become the first and only museum of gay and lesbian art in the world.

    Charles Leslie and his late partner Fritz Lohman – who organized their first small exhibition of gay art the same year as the Stonewall riots in 1969 – founded the new Museum with their multi-million dollar gift. It is now run by a Board of Directors, helmed by Prof. Jonathan David Katz, the co-curator of the recent Hide/Seek – the first major museum exhibit to focus on themes of gender and sexuality in modern American portraiture. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art focuses on gender and sexuality, in the still relatively unexplored historical, socio-political and cultural context in which these gay and lesbian artists lived.

    “With the new Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City, there will be, for the first time anywhere in the world, a place that celebrates the fullness of an artist’s work, neither shying away from sexuality nor controversy, as most major museums do. For far too long, LGBT issues have been the third rail in the American museum world, even long before the Mapplethorpe-inspired culture wars. (Note how same-sex eroticism is everywhere in evidence in the Met’s Classical galleries except on wall labels.) With upcoming exhibitions ranging from 20 centuries of the classic male nude to a mid-career retrospective of Del Grace Volcano, a contemporary trans photographer of great renown in Europe almost unseen in the US, we are forging a new kind of museum. It will mingle contemporary and historical exhibitions in a variety of formats–surveys, thematic and one-person shows–all towards a global picture of the celebrated, the unknown, and especially the unknown side of the celebrated. For example, December will see the opening of Paul Thek and His Circle–an exhibition that, unlike the recent show at the Whitney, will embrace the sexuality in his early work, instead of hiding it.” said Katz.

    The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has a permanent collection of more than 6,000 objects spanning more than three centuries of gay and lesbian art. The new museum will mount historical, thematic, and survey exhibitions drawn not only from its permanent collection but also from museums and private collections around the world. Its programs include 6-8 major exhibitions a year, film screenings, plays, poetry readings, artist and curator talks, panel discussions, THE ARCHIVE (a quarterly newsletter focusing on gay and lesbian art and artists), a membership program, a research library and an archive of the permanent collection.

    Though newly accredited as the first dedicated gay and lesbian art museum in the world, the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, founded by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, has for more than 20 years, persevered in its mission to exhibit, preserve and foster the works of gay and lesbian art and artists. The new museum will now exhibit and analyze a wider range of art and artists, national and international, while staying true to its mission. A non-profit, membership organization, the museum is committed to offering all of its exhibitions with no admission charge.

    Exterior View, Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York. Courtesy of MOGLA.

    Comments are closed.