Gluck: The Origin of Queer Art

Video (12:16): The painting analyzed in this video essay, Medallion (the YouWe picture) by Gluck, is one of their most famous as it is one of the first depiction of a queer relationship in art history.

Gluck (1895-1978)

Hannah ‘Gluck’ Gluckstein was born into a wealthy family and she had means of her own and was thus independent of men all her life. In 1923 Romaine Brooks painted Gluck as Peter, a Young English Girl. Medallion (1936), the artist’s joint self-portrait with Nesta Obermer with whom they had a romantic relationship is viewed as an iconic lesbian statement. In the 1920s and 30s Gluck became known for portraits and floral paintings; the latter were favoured by the interior decorator Syrie Maugham. In October 1924, Gluck first had a solo exhibition, of fifty-six paintings, at the Dorien Leigh Galleries in South Kensington, London, UK.

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