Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer History

Press Release by Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

We are pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition:

Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer History
October 18, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Opening Reception: October 17, 6-8 pm
Sponsored by the John Burton Harter Charitable Trust

In perhaps its most ambitious exhibition to date, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art will present Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer History, opening on October 18, 2014. For the first time ever, the exhibition will trace the same-sex gaze as grounded in the classical form, from Antiquity to the modern day.

Curated by Jonathan David Katz, exhibition’s central premise is that the image of the classical past is a recurring touchstone in the historical development of same-sex representation, and as such, constitutes a sensitive barometer of the shifting constructions of what we today call LGBT or queer culture. The classical past is thus queer culture’s central original myth, and its representation offers insight about the culture that appropriated it. In tracing this trajectory of the classical nude across history, this show concentrates on four periods: Antiquity, Renaissance, 19th Century and Modern/Contemporary. It is important to note that work by women and people of color within this genre really only begin to appear in the last period.

The exhibition will contain nearly a hundred objects of sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography from sources such as the Library of Congress, Smithsonian American Art Museum, New York Public Library, Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Archives of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Art and many other sources. The exhibition will contain work by Djuna Barnes, Aubrey Beardsley, James Bidgood, Romaine Brooks, Paul Cadmus, Heather Cassils, Tee Corinne, F. Holland Day, George Dureau, Albrecht Dürer, Jim French, William von Gloeden, Nan Goldin, Duncan Grant, Sunil Gupta, Lyle Ashton Harris, John Burton Harter, Jess, Herbert List, George Platt Lynes, Andrea Mantegna, Hans von Marees, Robert Mapplethorpe, Duane Michals, Michelangelo, Jacopo Pontormo, Herb Ritts, Guido Reni, Del LaGrace Volcano, and others.

A complete catalog will be available.

Classical Nudes is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.