New York is known as a city where LGBTQ artists, seeking freedom and acceptance, have long fostered a supportive creative community. As a side to the city that has often been obscured in history and even still today, this creative network is now being celebrated in a new exhibition, Gay
The exhibition will explore the past 100 years of LGBTQ activism and artistic expression through photographs, illustrations, letters, and ephemera. What was often considered scandalous in its time will be uncovered to highlight the lasting influence of these artistic subcultures, their radical ideas and their important impact on culture and society.
Work from both well-known figures and the more obscure artists will be on display, from the iconic Andy Warhol, Hollywood sex symbol and gay icon Mae West, and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, to lesbian feminist artist Harmany Hammon, painter and writer Richard Bruce Nugent, and genderqueer doll-maker Greer Lankton, who was an East Village icon. The relationships that emerged through this community and art scene are also detailed; Warhol and Mercedes de Acosta; Robert Mapplethorpe and Cecil Beaton; George Platt Lynes and Gertrude Stein.
The exhibition will shed light on the history of the movement in New York, celebrating the LGBTQ community and the power of solidarity, personal bonds and creative response in the face of oppression.
Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York will be at the Museum of the City of New York from 7th October 2016 – 26th February 2017.