The Leslie-Lohman Museum was founded in 1969 in the wake of the Stonewall Riots. Today, it remains as the first and only museum dedicated to art by and about the LGBT+ community. Read on for the story of Leslie-Lohman and what you can see there during WorldPride, the global Pride event coming to New York City this June.
In 1969, partners Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman gathered friends in their Soho loft to view the work of gay artists in a makeshift gallery space. This event spawned years of art-collecting and exhibitions of queer art in the same loft. In the 1980s, when queer artists were being claimed by the AIDS pandemic, Leslie and Lohman sought to preserve art works by the dead and dying. The couple founded the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation in 1987, an organization that operated in a gallery space and later moved to the current location at 26 Wooster Street. Leslie-Lohman received museum accreditation in 2016. The museum collection contains over 30,000 objects and remains in Soho, the neighborhood where Leslie and Lohman began their work. In March 2017, the museum debuted a renovation that doubled the size of its original location, allowing more of its collection to be presented to the public.
Art After Stonewall Exhibition
The Stonewall riots produced a decades-long ripple effect we can still feel today, represented in part by the WorldPride celebration. What many don’t know is the effect Stonewall had on the art world. The Leslie-Lohman Museum seeks to explore how the LGBT+ rights movement affected both open and closeted artists, the work they produced, and how they were received around the world. The work of out artists like Nan Goldin, Holly Hughes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tim Miller, Catherine Opie, and Andy Warhol will be on view in the galleries. Other artists whose work dealt with queer culture will have works on display, including Vito Acconci, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lynda Benglis, and Karen Finley. Art After Stonewall will invite visitors to examine a wide range of queer art around themes like coming out, AIDS, and “The Uses of the Erotic, Gender and Body.” Art After Stonewall will occupy the main gallery space at The Leslie-Lohman Museum, as well as the NYU Grey Art Gallery in Greenwich Village, during World Pride.
AND SO ARE YOU Installation
On display through May, 2019
During Pride Month, the facade of the Leslie-Lohman Museum will be covered with a public art project by the queer art collective fierce pussy. These window-sized images combine fierce pussy’s former public art works with new ones, all intending to reclaim language and space for queer voices. fierce pussy was established in 1991 as a group of renegade lesbian artists who posted their art around New York City. When you visit the museum, be sure to take a look at their installation, AND SO ARE YOU.
Leslie Lohman is located in Soho, an area famous for its intersecting fashion and art scenes. It is accessible to the N, R, Q, W, 1, and 2 trains. Leslie-Lohman is open 12-6pm, Wednesday through Sunday and 12-8pm on Thursdays. The museum will be closed the day of the WorldPride March, Sunday, June 30. The museum requests a donation of $9 upon entry, but there is no set admission fee.