Donna Gottschalk

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Donna Gottschalk
New York, New York
Known forPhotography

Donna Gottschalk is an American photographer who was active in the 1970s and came out as lesbian around the time that Radicalesbians and the Furies Collective formed.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Gottschalk grew up in the Lower East side where her mother operated a beauty parlour since the 1950s.[2] In the 1960s, she studied illustration at the High School of Art and Design. Through school, she met other lesbians who took her to iconic lesbian bars. She also became involved in the Gay Liberation Front.[3]

She moved to California to join lesbian separatist communities. While in California, she worked as an artist's model, a topless bartender, and the driver of horse-drawn carriages.[4]

Gottschalk was not a photojournalist or a documentary photographer but has been taking photos since she was 17. Her work is shown for the first time in the exhibition BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL OUTLAWS: The Photographs of Donna Gottschalk curated by Deborah Bright at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art from August 29, 2018.[4][5] Some of Gottschalks photographs have been published in the Gay Liberation Front newspaper. Her photos were in storage for 40 years. The subjects of Gottschalk's photos are her friends, family and roommates.[2]

Photojournalist Diana Davies took a photo of Gottschalk at the 1970 Christopher Street Liberation Day parade that shows her holding a sign reading: "I am your worst fear I am your best fantasy".[6][7]


  1. ^ Faderman, Lillian (2016-09-27). The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781451694123.
  2. ^ a b AnOther (2018-08-29). "The Artist Who Photographed the LGBTQ Movement's 'Brave, Beautiful' Outlaws". AnOther. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  3. ^ "The pioneering American photographer who captured 1970s lesbian culture". 2018-09-08.
  4. ^ a b "The Most Famous Lesbian Photographer You've Never Heard of — Until Now". Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  5. ^ "BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL OUTAWS: The Photographs of Donna Gottschalk". Leslie-Lohman Museum. 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  6. ^ "The unsung photographer who chronicled 1970s lesbian life". CNN Style. 2018-09-21. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  7. ^ "How Donna Gottschalk became an icon for girls who love girls". Gay Star News. 2018-09-29. Retrieved 2018-10-08.