New York Opens The first Museum Of Gay And Lesbian Art

A museum named in honour of its two founders Fritz Lohman and Charles Leslie has  received accreditation from the state of New York and is now clearly the first gay and lesbian art museum in the world.

It is an unique non-profit arts cultural institution established in 1990 to be a safe haven for that art which is often excluded from main stream exhibitions and textbooks and looked upon as taboo or less than important or embracing by historians and critics. Indeed, some even try to deny its existence! This is slowly changing. Mainly because of places like Leslie/Lohman and a new breed of artist who want to reclaim their own. It is a difficult project — to retrace the thread of gay and lesbian art throughout history — but it has begun. The Leslie/Lohman are doing their part by seeking out those artists who exhibit the knowledge, desire and skills to achieve a recognition that gay and lesbian art exists not in a vacuum but as an integral part of art history.

The Museum houses a sizable permanent collection, begun by the Founders, and continued through contributions and donations of concerned citizens who want their collections preserved intact and protected from an ignoble end. Now through the medium of the World Wide Web we are empowered to reach out as we never could before from New York City to the world. The walls are down, literally, and our reach and impact are greater and more effective than ever before.

The museum welcomes and encourages the viewer to contact them with any information you may have about gay and lesbian artists anywhere in the world, past or present. It is continually collecting new information and discovering art that no one outside a few close friends knew about. Likewise, it is continually surprised and encouraged by the quality of that work. And when they  can exhibit the work in the galleries or on the web. It is to an appreciative audience who are hungry for positive confirmation of our place in history.

Everyone is cordially invited to view the membership page and consider becoming a “Friend of Leslie/Lohman.”  Comments, suggestions and referrals are encouraged and always welcome.

THE QUEER AESTHETIC has always enlivened the visual arts, theater, dance, film, design, fashion and advertising. Yet much of the creative output by gay men and women has been largely unacknowledged. Work that displays an unambiguously queer sensibility has been, and often still is, denied access to mainstream venues. For five decades, theLeslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, and now the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, has played a pioneering role in celebratingthe accomplishments of gay artists. Over that time, we have provided a place for artists who speak directly to gay and lesbian sensibilities, offering special support for emerging and under-represented artists. We are passionately involved in the vital task of locating, rescuing and preserving art that might otherwise be destroyed or hidden from public view. Our mission is to embrace this rich creative history by informing, inspiring, entertaining and challenging all who enter our doors.— Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman

The current exhibition is titled The Piers: Art and Sex along the New York Waterfront and features work by Vito Acconci, Gordon Matta-Clark and David Wojnarowicz

The Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
26 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013
(Between Grand & Canal)
Hours: 12 Noon – 6pm, Tue – Sat
Closed: Sun & Mon & all major holidays
Please check the CALENDAR   
Phone: 212-431-2609
Fax: 212-431-2666

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