Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

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Paul Thek Exhibition (April 2013) Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster Street New York, New York, 10013

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, operated by the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation, is a visual art museum in the SoHo district of New York City that collects, preserves and exhibits visual arts created by LGBTQ artists or art about LGBTQ themes, issues, and people.[1] The Museum offers exhibitions year-round in numerous locations and owns more than 22,000 objects, including, paintings, drawings, photography, prints and sculpture. It has been recognized as one of the oldest arts groups engaged in the collection and preservation of gay art.[2] In May 2011, the Foundation was awarded Museum status by the New York State Board of Regents. [3] The Museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums and operates pursuant to their guidelines.[4]

The Museum maintains a Permanent Collection into which more than 1,300 objects have been accessioned. The Permanent Collection contains works by a number of well-known gay artists such as Berenice Abbott, David Hockney, Ingo Swann, Catherine Opie, Andy Warhol, Tom of Finland, Delmas Howe, Jean Cocteau, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, George Platt Lynes, Horst, Duncan Grant, James Bidgood, Duane Michals, Charles Demuth, Don Bachardy, Attila Richard Lukacs, Jim French, Del LaGrace Volcano, Paul Thek, Peter Hujar, Arthur Tress and many others. [5][6][7]


To exhibit and preserve art that speaks directly to the many aspects of the LGBTQ experience, and foster the artists who create it. We embrace the rich creative history of this community by educating, informing, inspiring, entertaining, and challenging all who enter our doors.


The Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation was founded by J. Frederic "Fritz" Lohman and Charles W. Leslie.[8] The two men had been collecting art for several years, and mounted their first exhibition of gay art in their loft on Prince Street in New York City in 1969. They opened a commercial art gallery shortly thereafter, but this venue closed in the early 1980s at the advent of the AIDS pandemic.[7][9]

In 1987, the two men applied for nonprofit status as a precursor to establishing a foundation to preserve their collection of gay art and continue exhibition efforts. The Internal Revenue Service objected to the word "gay" in the title of the foundation and held up the nonprofit application for several years. The Foundation was granted nonprofit status in 1990.[9]

The Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation's first location was in a basement at 127B Prince Street in New York City.[8][9][10] In 2006, the Foundation moved into ground floor gallery at 26 Wooster Street in SoHo.


The Museum offers several principle programs including the maintenance of its Permanent and Study Collections, 6-8 annual exhibitions at 26 Wooster Street, 4-6 annual exhibitions in the Wooster Street Windows Gallery and multiple weekend exhibitions and drawing workshops at its Prince Street Project Space at 127b Prince Street in SoHo. The Museum's exhibitions are organized by Guest Curtors who submit proposals which are reviewed by the Museum Director and Exhibition Committee. [11]

In addition, the Museum offers a complete year-round schedule of educational programing including talks, lectures, (Slava Mogutin, Duane Michals, Catherine Opie, Jonathan David Katz, etc.) films and books signings. [7] The LLGAF also publishes The Archive made available to its membership that includes information on the Leslie-Lohman collection, new acquisitions, events, and articles on artists and exhibitions. The Museum has a library with more than 2,500 volumes on gay art and maintains files on more than 2,000 individual artists. The Museum has begun to travel its exhibitions as its 2013 Sascha Schneider exhibition traveled to the Schwules Museum in Berlin. The Museum's Classical Nude: The Making of Queer History was on preview at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives gallery in West Hollywood in the summer of 2014. [12]

The Museum makes objects in its collection available for loan to qualified organizations and in recent years has borrowed works from other institutions, including the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution. New York Public Library, The Andy Warhol Museum and other organizations.

Governance and Finances[edit]

The Leslie-Lohman Museum is governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Foundation employs a full-time staff, and relies on the assistance of volunteers to implement its programs.[7] The Museum also runs a Fellowship Program.[13] It is financed by its endowment, contributions from private donors and foundations as well as a membership program. The Foundation expands its collection primarily by donations from artists and collectors. It files an IRS 990 tax return each year.

Recent Notable Exhibitions[edit]


Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer History (curated by Jonathan David Katz) - Exploring same-sex gaze from Antiquity to today, including work of 80 artists such as Romaine Brooks, Michelangelo, Paul Cadmus, Patricia Cronin, F. Holland Day, Albrecht Dürer, Jim French, Jess, Wilhelm von Gloeden, George Platt Lynes, Duane Michals, Zanele Muholi, and Del LaGrace Volcano. Selections from the Museum's permanent collection as well as from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, Goodwin-Ternbach, NYPL and others.[14][15]

After Our Bodies Meet (curated by Alexis Heller) - An exhibition that explores queer feminist artists’ responses to dominant notions about the body from the 1970s to present day. Reflecting the ever-growing diversity of feminist art, this exhibition provides a cross-cultural examination of how artists represent the body to challenge past and present forms of oppression and to envision a queer future.[16]

Gonzalo Orquin: Si, quiero (curated by Hunter O'Hanian) - Originally scheduled to show in Rome in 2013, Si, quiero was prevented from being displayed when the Vatican threatened legal action. The installation in the Window Gallery at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art recreated Orquin’s photographs featuring same-sex couples kissing in Italian churches and was on view from the Museum’s street level Window Gallery 24 hours-a-day. [17]

Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall (curated by Robert W Richards) - Through the work of twenty-five artists, this exhibition tells an important story about how art – really good work – served to fill a void in men’s lives at a time when their society, and often their own families, abandoned a critical part of their identity. Despite the power of this work and its impact on a major segment of the gay population, it is still shunned simply because some fear its content. [18]

Queer Threads (curated by John Chaich) - This exhibition presents twenty-four artists from around the world who use thread-based craft materials and techniques to examine the diversity of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer experiences.[19]


Paul Thek and His Circle (curated by Jonathan David Katz and Peter Harvey) - The storied homophobia of the 1950s hardly reached the young Paul Thek or the young men in his circle. His early work, arguably the gayest of his entire career, is filled with images of his lovers and close friends, including other artists such as Peter Harvey, Peter Hujar and Joseph Raffael. [20]

Lust in Uniform - Images of Military Homosexuality (curated by James Saslow and Wayne Snellen) - In participation with the Blue Star Museum Program spearheaded by the National Endowment for the Arts to honor military families.[21]

Sascha Schneider (curated by Jonathan David Katz) - Sascha Schneider (1870 -1927) was an artist who achieved mainstream critical and commercial success in turn-of-the-century Germany despite its striking homoeroticism. Appointed painting chair at the Weimar-Saxon Grand Ducal Art School, and a recipient of prestigious aristocratic commissions, Schneider was once a celebrated painter. Today he is practically unknown, even in Germany. [22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ellis, "Arts and Education," in The Harvey Milk Institute Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Internet Research, 2001.
  2. ^ Cotter, "Gay Pride (and Anguish) Around the Galleries," New York Times, June 24, 1994.
  3. ^ http://www.vice.com/read/the-leslie-lohman-museum-of-gay-and-lesbian-art
  4. ^ https://www.leslielohman.org/index.html
  5. ^ http://www.wmagazine.com/culture/not-a-fashion-photo/2014/08/gay-and-lesbian-art/
  6. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/arts/design/permanency-displays-gay-and-lesbian-art.html
  7. ^ a b c d Sanchez, "Leslie-Lohman Gallery: The Ultimate Gay Portfolio," Genre Magazine, September 2000.
  8. ^ a b Robinson, "Future Events From Art to Zippers," New York Times, April 25, 1982.
  9. ^ a b c De Stefano, "Artistic Outlaws: Leslie and Lohman Have Fought to Preserve Gay Art for Three Decades," New York Blade, March 20, 1998.
  10. ^ Lee, "The Week Ahead: Jan. 22 - Jan. 28," New York Times, January 22, 2006.
  11. ^ https://www.leslielohman.org/get-involved/Guidelines_for_Proposing_an%20Exhibition_to_Leslie-Lohman%20Museum_of_Gay_and_Lesbian_Art.pdf
  12. ^ http://one.usc.edu/the-classical-nude/
  13. ^ https://www.leslielohman.org/get-involved/participate.html
  14. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/classical-nude_n_5968008.html
  15. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/art/classical-nudes-making-queer-history
  16. ^ http://www.curvemag.com/Culture/Challenging-Body-Oppression-Through-Art1/
  17. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/gay-kiss-photographs-condemned-vatican-shown-new-york-article-1.1757026/
  18. ^ http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/on-view-the-secret-history-of-homoerotic-illustration/
  19. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/arts/design/queer-threads-crafting-identity-and-community.html" /
  20. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/arts/design/paul-thek-and-his-circle-in-the-1950s.html" /
  21. ^ http://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/2013/lust-in-uniform.html
  22. ^ http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/art/artist-spotlight/2013/09/14/artist-spotlight-sascha-schneider?page=full"


  • Aletti, Vince. "Patrick Angus at the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation." The Village Voice. February 4–10, 2004.
  • Cotter, Holland. "Gay Pride (and Anguish) Around the Galleries." New York Times. June 24, 1994.
  • De Stefano, George. "Artistic Outlaws: Leslie and Lohman Have Fought to Preserve Gay Art for Three Decades." New York Blade. March 20, 1998.
  • Ellis, Alan. "Arts and Education." In The Harvey Milk Institute Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Internet Research. Alan Ellis, Liz Highley, Kevin Schaub, Melissa White, and Liz Highleyman, eds. Binghamton, N.Y.: Haworth Press, 2001. ISBN 1-56023-353-2
  • Kennedy, Sean. "Lust At Last: At Age 70, Illustrator Bob Ziering Shows His Gay Erotic Art for the First Time." The Advocate. August 17, 2004.
  • Lee, Nathan. "The Week Ahead: Jan. 22 - Jan. 28." New York Times. January 22, 2006.
  • Lockard, Ray Anne. "Pink Papers and Lavender Files: Preserving Gay and Lesbian Art History in Archival Collections." Art Libraries Society of North America. Session 14. 26th Annual Conference. Philadelphia, Pa., March 10, 1998. Accessed November 3, 2007.
  • Robinson, Ruth. "Future Events From Art to Zippers." New York Times. April 25, 1982.
  • Sanchez, John. "Leslie-Lohman Gallery: The Ultimate Gay Portfolio." Genre Magazine. September 2000.
  • Saslow, James M. Pictures and Passions. A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts. New York: Viking Press, 1999. ISBN 0-670-85953-2
  • Summers, Claude J., ed. The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2004. ISBN 1-57344-191-0
  • Twomey, Chris. "The Culture of Queer: A Tribute to J.B. Harter." New York Art World. September 2006.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°43′18″N 74°00′11″W / 40.72164°N 74.00312°W / 40.72164; -74.00312