From Exhibits

Closing Reception & Gallery Tour: OUT/LOOK & the Birth of the Queer Exhibition

Friday, January 26
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco 

Admission: $5.00  |  FREE for members


The GLBT History Museum marks the closing weekend of its innovative exhibition “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” with a public reception featuring a gallery tour by curator E.G. Crichton and a celebration of the participating artists and writers, many of whom will attend the event.

The exhibition highlights the story of OUT/LOOK, a groundbreaking national queer quarterly published in San Francisco from 1988 to 1992, via displays of historical materials as well as new work created by 38 culture-makers inspired by the journal. The show and its associated publication and website are designed to spark intergenerational conversations about the legacy of OUT/LOOKand its era.

Discounted copies of the new issue of OUT/LOOK created for the show will be available, and light refreshments will be served.

Inset: Historic issues and front covers of the journal OUT/LOOK (1988-1992) displayed in the exhibition “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” at the GLBT History Museum. Photo by E.G. Crichton.

Exhibition Opening | Angela Davis: OUTspoken    

“Libérez Angela Davis” (Paris: Union des Etudiants Communistes de France, 1971). Poster. Artist unknown. Collection of Lisbet Tellefsen.
Friday, February 9     
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
Admission: $5.00. Free for members.

A new exhibition drawing on rare posters and ephemera from a private collection will trace the turbulent history of Angela Davis, a radical thinker, and activist whose work reflects her experience as a queer black woman. Davis first came to public attention in the 1970s with her involvement in the Black Panther Party, her dismissal from the faculty of the University of California due to her membership in the Communist Party, and her trial on charges of political kidnapping and murder for which she was acquitted. Today, Davis continues her militant work, challenging mainstream LGBTQ movements to see the military and marriage with a critical eye.”Angela Davis: OUTspoken” considers some of the roles Davis has played in the American political imaginary and explores the complexity and impact of her life across nearly half a century.

Poster Exhibition Highlights Radical History of Black Lesbian Scholar Angela Davis

“Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” (Oakland CA, 1971). Poster. Artist and publisher unknown. Collection of Lisbet Tellefsen.
“Libérez Angela Davis” (Paris: Union des Etudiants Communistes de France, 1971). Poster. Artist unknown. Collection of Lisbet Tellefsen.
San Francisco — A new exhibition drawing on rare posters and ephemera from a private collection will highlight the journey of black lesbian activist Angela Davis: from radical scholar, to political prisoner, to revolutionary icon, to public intellectual.

Curated by collector Lisbet Tellefsen and historian Amy Sueyoshi, “Angela Davis: OUTspoken” considers some of the roles Davis has played in the American political imaginary and explores the complexity and impact of her life across nearly half a century. The show opens February 9 at the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco.

“As a black lesbian growing up in the Bay Area, I never really viewed Angela Davis through a specifically queer lens,” says Tellefsen, whose collection of rare Davis materials forms the basis of the exhibition. “However, for as long as I can remember, Angela was always fiercely claimed by the lesbian-of-color community as one of our own. While we could debate when or what exactly constituted her coming-out statement, what was always crystal clear was her unwavering and vocal support for LGBTQ rights.

“Angela Davis has always been about intersectionality — before the term was even coined,” Tellefsen adds. “She has always explored the connections between race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability and citizenship. She is an African American woman, she is lesbian, she is an ally for oppressed populations throughout the globe and a vocal champion for LGBTQ rights. This is who she is. She is a human rights activist of the highest order.”

Davis first came to public attention in the late 1960s with her dismissal from the faculty of the University of California due to her membership in the Communist Party and with her involvement in the Black Panther Party and her trial on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder for which she was acquitted.

Her outspoken activism and organizing efforts attracted both harsh criticism and strong support, resulting in her becoming a globally recognized symbol of radical resistance. Today, Davis continues her political work, including challenging mainstream LGBTQ movements to see service in the armed forces and participation in marriage with a critical eye.

“It’s especially important now to be reminded of the radical roots of queer activism, particularly through African American women such as Angela Davis,” says Sueyoshi. “My hope is that history will honor the queer women of color and other activists who came up during times of extreme repression. The graphics displayed in ‘OUTspoken’ not only serve as a visual reminder of the power of speaking out; they also can inspire us to continue working for a world without exploitation.”

“Angela Davis: OUTspoken” opens Friday, February 9, at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco, with a public reception set for 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The curators will offer introductory remarks, and light refreshments will be served. Admission is $5.00; free for members of the GLBT Historical Society. The exhibition runs through May 20. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org.


ABOUT ANGELA DAVIS

Following are excerpts from a 1998 OUT Magazine profile in which Angela Davis discusses sexual politics and sexual identity:

[In the 1970s], Davis rejected all “identity politics” that made categories like race, gender, or sexual orientation the basis for political organizing. Behind many of her objections was Davis’ distrust of the principle that “the personal is political.” Politics was political, she believed, and the personal was not an arena she wanted to explore.

Davis’ approach began to change in the ’80s, she says, as “new feminisms emerged, particularly from feminists of color, with new vocabularies to talk about gender and sexuality.” She says that her research on the blues, for example, helped her understand how “personal” life historically played a role in black women’s liberation. The blues women who sang about homosexual desire, abusive men, jealousy, lust, travel and love were creating, she says, “a working-class black feminism” and “a politics of resistance challenging race and gender identity.”

Davis credits younger activists for other insights: how issues like sexuality can “enter into consciousness and become the focus of struggle,” how “private” issues like domestic violence and AIDS can spark social movements.

Meanwhile, her sense of her own personal and political has shifted. Her lesbianism, she says, is “something I’m fine with as a political statement. But I still want a private space for carrying out my relationships.”

Sara Miles, “Angela at Our Table,” OUT Magazine (February 1998) 

 

ABOUT THE CURATORS

Lisbet Tellefsen has been an archivist, collector and event producer in the Bay Area for more than three decades. She was publisher of Aché: A Black Lesbian Journal from 1989 to 1995. She frequently lends works from her collection of posters and fine arts reflecting African American radical organizing and other subjects for display in exhibitions around the United States. In addition, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) have acquired materials from Tellefsen for their permanent collections.

Amy Sueyoshi is a historian specializing in sexuality, gender and race. She serves as interim dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and holds a joint faculty appointment in Sexuality Studies and Race and Resistance Studies. She is the author of two books: Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi (2012) and Discriminating Sex: White Leisure and the Making of the American “Oriental” (forthcoming in March 2018). Sueyoshi is a recipient of the GLBT Historical Society’s Clio Award for contributions to queer history and served as community grand marshal for San Francisco Pride in 2017.

Opening Reception | New Exhibit: The Evolution of AIDS Activism, 1981-1990

Friday, December 1st 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00 | Free for members

ACT UP protest during the VI International AIDS Conference in San Francisco (1990). Photo: Marc Geller.

In honor of World AIDS Day 2017, the GLBT History Museum will unveil “Finding Our Voice, Claiming Our Place: The Evolution of AIDS Activism, 1981-1990,” a new section in the museum’s permanent exhibition, “Queer Past Becomes Present.”

Curated by longtime AIDS activist Mike Shriver, the display traces the creation of brash, unapologetic, nonviolent direct action in response to the AIDS crisis in San Francisco — one of the first places in the world where militant activism AIDS emerged. From the beginnings of the people with AIDS movement in 1981 to the spectacular ACT UP protests at the VI International Conference on AIDS in 1990, the exhibit draws on historic photographs, stickers, t-shirts and other scarce materials from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society to tell the dramatic story of a powerful movement for social justice.

The curator and a number of veterans of Bay Area AIDS activism will take part in the opening. Light refreshments will be served. The new case was made possible by generous sponsorship from IDEO.

Panel Discussion | Foreign Bodies: Homophobia, Race and Immigration   

Thursday, December 14th 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00. Free for members.

Cover of OUT/LOOK, no. 11 (Winter 1991). Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society.

In conjunction with the exhibition “OUT/LOOK & the Birth of the Queer” currently on display at the GLBT History Museum, this panel will address questions of homophobia, race and immigration in relation to the 30-year period since the groundbreaking journal OUT/LOOK first emerged in 1987.

Participants will consider how the history of queer thought on these issues in the late 1980s-early 1990s affects and informs today’s intersectional resistance movements. Julie Dorf, senior advisor to the Council for Global Equality, will serve as moderator. Panelists include the following:

  • Eniola Abioye, steering committee member for the Black LGBTQ Migrant Project at the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco.
  • Marcia Ochoa, co-founder of El/La Para Translatinas, a transgender Latina social justice organization in San Francisco’s Mission District.
  • Subhi Nahas, a gay refugee from Syria. He is the founder of the Spectra Project, a nonprofit that helps LGBTQ refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.

For more information about the “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” exhibition and related initiatives, visit www.queeroutlook.org.

Panel Discussion | Queerness in Flux: Shifting Lesbian, Trans & Genderqueer Identities

Thursday, November 16th 2017
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00. Free for members.


Cover of OUT/LOOK, no. 11 (Winter 1991). Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.

In conjunction with the exhibition ” OUT/LOOK & the Birth of the Queer” currently on display at the GLBT History Museum, this panel discussion will examine connections between the recent LGBTQ past and contemporary issues by addressing shifts in gender identities, culture and politics.

Surveys in the groundbreaking queer journal OUT/LOOK (1988-1992) asked “what is your gender?” with just two choices: female or male. Panelist will contrast that era of queer history with the radical gender possibilities created by LGBTQ people today.

Three of the panelists — Bo, Julian Carter and Ajuan Mance — have created works for the exhibition that interrogate gender and its intersections. Also joining the discussion will be New York-based activist and author Amber Hollibaugh, who has written extensively about gender in the context of class, age and economic justice.

For more information about the “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” exhibition and related initiatives, visit www.queeroutlook.org.

PANEL PARTICIPANTS

Bo is an interdisciplinary artist whose cultural interventions encompass visual arts, comics, performance, filmmaking, creative writing, scholarship and culinary business. His work across these fields addresses the complex connections among different experiences of marginalization, challenges capitalist relational practices and imagines alternative possibilities of desire and resistance. Learn more about Bo’s work at www.thirteenzero.com.

Julian Carter is associate professor of critical studies at the California College of the Arts in Oakland. He is a critical historian and performance theorist whose work addresses normativity, embodiment and the collective construction and maintenance of identity systems. He also makes social sculptures as principle instigator of the performance group PolySensorium. Carter is the author of The Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1890–1940 (2007) and serves on the editorial board of the Transgender Studies Quarterly.

Amber Hollibaugh describes herself as “a lesbian sex radical, ex-hooker, incest survivor, gypsy child, poor-white-trash, high femme dyke.” She is an award-winning filmmaker, feminist, left political organizer, public speaker and journalist. In New York City, she cofounded and directed Queers for Economic Justice in New York City and served as director of education, advocacy and community building at Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders. She also worked as chief officer of elder and LBTI women’s services at Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. In San Francisco, she cofounded the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project, the precursor to the GLBT Historical Society. Hollibaugh is the author of My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home (2000).

Ajuan Mance is professor of African American literature at Mills College in Oakland and is a lifelong artist and writer. Her comics and zines include Gender Studies; The Little Book of Big, Black Bears; and A Blues for Black Santa; as well as the 1001 Black Men series. Mance has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as comic and zine festivals from the Bay Area to Brooklyn. Her scholarly writings and artwork explore the relationship between race, gender and representation among people of African descent in the United States. Her most recent book, Before Harlem: An Anthology of African-American Literature From the Long Nineteenth Century, was published in 2016.

Exhibition Features New Work Inspired by Groundbreaking Queer Journal OUT/LOOK

Front cover of OUT/LOOK, No. 1 (Spring 1988). Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society.

San FranciscoA new multimedia exhibition opening October 6 at the GLBT History Museum explores the story of OUT/LOOK, a groundbreaking national queer quarterly published in San Francisco from 1988 to 1992. Embracing gender and racial diversity and bridging academic and community perspectives, the magazine developed an avid readership. The show and its associated programs, publication and website are designed to spark intergenerational conversations about the legacy of OUT/LOOK and its era.

Curated by E.G. Crichton, “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” features new work by 38 culture-makers, each asked to find inspiration in one of the 17 issues of the magazine. This diverse group includes writers, visual artists, performers, curators, activists and representatives of two organizations, all belonging to the two generations of queers who have grown up since the five-year lifespan of the magazine.

“The last issue of OUT/LOOK was published 25 years ago, yet people still tell me they miss it,” Crichton says. “Members of younger generations I speak to — including the participants in this project — express surprise that we were already wrangling back thenwith intersectional identities, marriage equality, the politics of respectability, who decides our tactics for resistance and other contemporary concerns.”

“Walking through the gallery, listening to the audio tour, visitors will be introduced to OUT/LOOK through historical materials and through artists’ and writers’ provocative new responses to the original magazine,” Crichton adds. “They’ll get a taste of innovative queer thinking and the sharp debates in and about the LGBTQ community at a pivotal time in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And they’ll discover lots of links to issues that are very much alive today.”

“OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” opens on October 6, 2017, with a public reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco. The event will include remarks by the curator. Many of the exhibition contributors will attend, as will founders and editors of OUT/LOOK. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibition runs through DATE.

Curator EG Crichton.

ABOUT THE PUBLICATION & WEBSITE

The “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” project includes publication of a new issue of the magazine that brings together artwork, essays, poems, a play and editorials. The publication will be available at the GLBT History Museum for $20. Also developed in conjunction with the exhibition is a content-rich website offering historical information about OUT/LOOK, responses and recollections from creators and readers of the journal, and a portfolio of each participant’s contribution to the project. Visit the website at http://queeroutlook.org.
  
ABOUT THE PROGRAMS
A series of public programs is planned in conjunction with “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer.” The first program, “Q-Public: Out/Look for the 21st Century,” is set for Thursday, October 12, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the GLBT History Museum.

 

ABOUT THE CURATOR
E.G. Crichton was a founder of OUT/LOOK, where she served as art director from 1988 to 1990. An interdisciplinary artist and curator, she uses a range of media and social strategies to explore specific histories, often working in collaboration with diverse practitioners and communities. Her projects have been exhibited in art institutions and as public installations across the United States and in Asia, Australia and Europe. She retired in 2016 as professor of art at the University of California, Santa Cruz. For more information, visit her website at https://egcrichton.sites.ucsc.edu.     
 
 
ABOUT THE FUNDER
 
“OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer” is made possible in part by a grant from the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. For more information about the fund, visit http://creativeworkfund.org.

Exhibition Opening: OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer

Friday, October 6  
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
Admission:
$5.00 | Free for members

Front cover of OUT/LOOK, No. 11 (Winter 1991). Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.
A new multimedia exhibition focusing on OUT/LOOK, a national queer quarterly based in San Francisco that ran from 1988 to 1992. Embracing gender and racial diversity and bridging academic and community perspectives, the magazine had a passionate following and sparked vigorous debates. It addressed political and cultural topics, emphasizing graphic arts along with scholarly and literary writing.

Curated by E.G. Crichton, the exhibition features new work by an array of culture-makers, each of them asked to draw on one issue of OUT/LOOK for inspiration. By documenting the history and sparking fresh creative investigation, the exhibition will bring the legacy of the magazine to a new generation.
The opening will include remarks by the curator. In addition, many of the exhibition contributors will attend, as will founders and editors of OUT/LOOK. A new issue of OUT/LOOK published in association with the exhibition will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit the exhibition website.

Q-Public: OUT/LOOK for the 21st Century

Thursday, October 12
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00 | Free for members

Front cover of OUT/LOOK, No. 14 (Fall 1991). Courtesy GLBT Historical Society.

In conjunction with the exhibition “OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer,” a roundtable of writers, editors, artists and community organizers will discuss the story of OUT/LOOK (published 1988–1992) and the significance of the new exhibition devoted to the magazine at the GLBT History Museum.

Participants are author Jeffrey Escoffier, cofounder and publisher of OUT/LOOK; writer and performer Brian Freeman; artist Maya Manvi, an editor of the new issue of OUT/LOOK published to accompany the exhibition; and writer and curator Dorothy Santos. E.G. Crichton, a founder and art director of OUT/LOOK, will serve as moderator.

The panelists will survey the history of the magazine, present the works created for the exhibition and discuss cultural initiatives sparked by the project. A 10-minute performance by Brian Freeman based on a short play written by project participant Casey Llewellyn will round out the program.

New Exhibition Highlights 35 Years of LGBTQ Community Portraits by Lenore Chinn  

Veronica Passalacqua, Amari Passalacqua and Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie (2016); color photograph. Copyright © Lenore Chinn.

Veuxdo in the Fillmore (2012); acrylic on canvas. Copyright © Lenore Chinn.

“Picturing Kinship: Portraits of Our Community,” a new exhibition offering a 35-year overview of portraits in painting and photography by San Francisco artist Lenore Chinn, opens on June 9 at the GLBT History Museum.

The subjects of the artist’s portraits are individuals who have contributed to the diversity of San Francisco’s cultural landscape in such fields as poetry, visual and performing arts, film, rock music, academia, and the LGBTQ movement. The exhibition is curated by Tirza True Latimer, chair of the graduate program in visual and critical studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

“Portraiture is at the core of my visual art practice whether it is painting or photography — both are employed in my creative process,” notes Chinn. “As a local artist, I focus on the depiction of a wide spectrum of people in all their diversity — women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. Collectively these images are visual narratives that constitute an art history largely hidden from the public’s perception of society and our particular cultural experience.

“My portraits reflect the many overlapping communities in which I move or which I have some connection to,” Chinn adds. “Many are colleagues or friends I have chronicled over three decades, so the viewer will see domestic partners, young men now departed due to HIV/AIDS and people from a wide variety of ethnic groups. Some have been involved in laying the groundwork for changing city policy pertaining to our civil rights, others are from my sociopolitical milieu. Together they have been pioneers in creating visibility and an infrastructure for our communities.”

“Picturing Kinship” runs June 9 through September 18 at the GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., San Francisco. An opening reception on Friday, June 9, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. will feature comments from the artist and the curator along with light refreshments.


Lenore Chinn. Detail of Butler’ s View (1993); acrylic on canvas self-portrait. Copyright © Lenore Chinn.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Lenore Chinn is a second-generation Asian American painter, photographer, and activist whose work has been shown nationally for more than three decades. Her paintings are based in the Bay Area tradition of photorealism, with its practice of creating large-scale acrylics inspired by photographs of everyday life. At the same time, her iconography escapes photorealist convention by focusing on LGBTQ relationships, racial and ethnic diversity, and Chinese-American culture and kinship.

Chinn has long been active as a San Francisco community organizer who works to create structures of personal and institutional support that will both sustain critical artistic production and advance movements for social justice. She was an original member of Lesbians in the Visual Arts, is a co-founder of the Queer Cultural Center and has been active in the Asian American Women Artists Association since the group was founded. From 1988 to 1992, she served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.


Tirza True Latimer. Photo: Wanda Corn.

 

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Tirza True Latimer is the associate professor and chair of the graduate program in visual and critical studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She has curated numerous exhibitions, most recently “Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories” for the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Latimer coauthored with Wanda Corn a companion book, also titled Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories (University of California Press, 2011).

Latimer’s published work reflects on modern and contemporary visual culture from queer feminist perspectives. She is coeditor with Whitney Chadwick of the anthology The Modern Woman Revisited: Paris Between the Wars (Rutgers University Press, 2003). She is the author of Women Together/Women Apart: Portraits of Lesbian Paris (Rutgers University Press, 2005). Latimer’s latest book, Eccentric Modernisms: Making Differences in the History of American Art (University of California Press, 2016), builds on archival research conducted for the Stein exhibition and book.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING Picturing Kinship: Portraits of Our Community

Exhibition Opening
Picturing Kinship: Portraits of Our Community  
Friday, June 9
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco
Admission: $5.00; Free for members

A new exhibition offering a 35-year overview of portraits in painting and photography by San Francisco artist Lenore Chinn. Her work depicts a wide spectrum of women and men, people of color and the LGBTQ community. The subjects are largely individuals who have contributed to San Francisco’s cultural landscape in fields ranging from poetry to visual and performing arts, film, rock music, academia and the LGBTQ movement. They have been pioneers in creating visibility for queer communities — and Lenore’s portraits of them constitute a reflection of LGBTQ experience that has been largely invisible in mainstream narratives of contemporary art. The opening will feature comments from the artist along with light refreshments. “Picturing Kinship” runs through September 18 at the GLBT History Museum.

FUNDRAISER Out of Hibernation: Beartoonist Beer Bust at the Lone Star

FUNDRAISER
Out of Hibernation: Beartoonist Beer Bust at the Lone Star  
Sunday, March 12
4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The Lone Star Saloon
1354 Harrison St., San Francisco
 

“Bear Pride” temporary chalk drawing by Fran Frisch at the Lone Star Saloon (circa 1995)

The Lone Star Saloon invites gay bears and their friends to a special beer bust to support the GLBT Historical Society and its current exhibition, “Beartoonist of San Francisco: Sketching an Emerging Subculture.” Exhibition curator Jeremy Prince will be on hand to make informal comments about the history of the bear subculture, and artwork and t-shirts by bear cartoonist Fran Frisch will be available for purchase. With spring on the way, the beer bust will be a great opportunity to come out of hibernation for a visit to the Lone Star, recently honored by the City of San Francisco as an officially recognized LGBTQ legacy business.

Exhibit Open: ‘Noche de Ambiente’

A sampling of the Adela Vázquez papers documenting San Francisco LGBTQ Latinx scene from the 1980s and 1990s; collection of Juliana Delgado Lopera
A sampling of the Adela Vázquez papers documenting San Francisco LGBTQ Latinx scene from the 1980s and 1990s; collection of Juliana Delgado Lopera

“NOCHE DE AMBIENTE”
Through February 2017
GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., SF.

For decades, Spanish speakers in many parts of the Western Hemisphere recognize the word ambiente — literally meaning “atmosphere” or “environment” — as a coded reference. Queer Latinas and Latinos have used the word to identify themselves, their distinctive cultures and their spirit of resistance.

The term is at the heart of a new exhibition that will debut October 28 at the GLBT History Museum: “Noche de Ambiente.” The show opens a window into the meanings of ambiente as reflected in Latino drag performance and LGBTQ and AIDS activism in San Francisco from the 1970s into the 1990s.

Curated by Juliana Delgado Lopera and Ángel Rafael “Ralph” Vázquez-Concepción, the exhibition brings together documents, images and videos from the GLBT Historical Society’s archives as well as materials contributed by community members.

“Growing up in Puerto Rico, the word ambiente was familiar; I heard it a lot when I was a kid in the ’80s,” says Vázquez-Concepción. “Later I came to understand the shielding effect it has. Like a spell, it turns the space it refers to into Latinx queer domain.”

Delgado Lopera first learned the word from the woman she sees as her queer mother, Adela Vázquez, who told Lopera stories that opened an underground world of queer Latinidad invisible to the public eye. Through Vázquez she met many queer Latinas and Latinos active during the 1980s and 1990s, some of whom formed her chosen family. “I’m committed to the unearthing and preservation of their stories because they’re part of me, they created openings for me to exist,” Lopera says.

 

AFTER HOURS: Noche de Ambiente

ahnda_banFriday, August 26 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Museum
TICKETS

This month’s party at the GLBT History Museum features drinks, nibbles and dancing to Latin beats by DJ Dreams. Your drag diva party hostess: the fabulous Dulce De Leche!

The event will raise funds to support “Noche de Ambiente,” our upcoming exhibition celebrating iconic San Francisco Latinx drag performers and activists of the 1970s–1990s.

The After Hours party gives you a chance to don your club looks — or your over-the-top drag — for an evening of keeping the party going just like the queens and militants who stood up for the rights and the saftey of San Francisco’s Latinx LGBTQ community in decades past. Admission: $10-20 (sliding scale). Buy tickets.

New exhibition honors gay movement pioneer Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld

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Autographed portrait (1926); frontispiece of the first volume of Hirschfeld’s five-volume German-language survey of sexual knowledge.

This year marks the 85th anniversary of Dr. Magnus Hirsch­feld’s visit to San Francisco. Starting in the late 1890s, Hirschfeld was a groundbreaking defender of homosexual and transgender peo­ple in Germany and beyond. He was internationally renowned as a founder of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, the world’s first homosexual advocacy group, and as creator of the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin. Both organizations were banned when the Nazis came to power in 1933. Hirschfeld died in exile three years later.

In a new exhibition opening on August 19, we offer an introduction to Hirschfeld’s life, work and legacy. Through Knowledge to Justice: The Sexual World of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) features first editions, vintage periodicals and ephemera largely drawn from the collection assembled by curator Gerard Koskovich over the past three decades. In addition, the exhibition will include historic film documenting Hirschfeld’s impact and the fate of his work.

Curator Gerard Koskovich

“Although the Nazi regime did its best to erase the memory of Hirschfeld and his contributions, it didn’t succeed. We remember Hirschfeld today not only because he helped found the movement to defend LGBTQ people more than a century ago, but also because his work as a sexologist was prescient,” Koskovich said. “With its emphasis on ‘sexual intermediacy,’ Hirschfeld’s thinking prefigures contemporary ideas about the continuum of sexual orientation, genderqueer expression and sexual fluidity.”

Among the scarce artifacts that will be displayed are the 1904 booklet distributed by the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee to advocate repeal of Germany’s sodomy law; one of the handful of volumes known to have survived the first book-burning of the Nazi regime, where the library of Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science was consigned to the flames; and a review copy of the last of Hirschfeld’s books published during his lifetime, inscribed by the author three weeks before his death in exile in Nice, France.

Through Knowledge to Justice opens August 19 and runs through December. An opening reception will be held on Friday, August 19, at 7 p.m. Admission to the reception: $5.00.

Sponsors: Hermes Foundation, German Consulate General in San Francisco, Jeff Zimman & Ken Ruebush

Cosponsors: Consulate General of France in San Francisco, Goethe-Institut of San Francisco, Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft e.V. (Berlin)

Stroke exhibition gallery tour

Friday, July 22 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Museum

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Kent. “The Mechanic” (1992); acrylic and pencil on illustration board.

Join curator Robert Richards and Leslie-Lohman Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian for a lively talk exploring our new Front Gallery exhibition Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Walls. This showing of 1950s–1990s erotic art comprises twenty-four original illustrations, most drawn from the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s vast collection. Other pieces have been borrowed from private collectors and in some cases from the individual artists. Included in the exhibition will be artwork by Neel Bate (Blade), Michael Breyette, Michael Broderick, Harry Bush, Jim French (Colt), Oliver Frey, Kevin King (BEAU), Michael Kirwan, Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), David Martin, Donald Merrick (Domino), Kent Neffendorf (Kent), Olaf Odegaard (Olaf), Mel Odom, Dominic Orejudos (Etienne), Benoît Prévot, George Stavrinos, Rex, Robert W. Richards, Richard Rosenfeld, William Schmelling (Hun), George Quaintance and Frank Webber (Bastille). Admission: $5.00; free for members.

Traveling exhibition of gay erotic art coming in July

Antonio Lopez. "Mike Haire 1" (1983); watercolor and pencil on paper.
Antonio Lopez. “Mike Haire 1” (1983); watercolor and pencil on paper.

From July to October, we present a historical retrospective of erotic illustrations by artists who worked for gay men’s magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Walls originated at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. The San Francisco show is its only scheduled West Coast appearance.

Curated by artist Robert W. Richards, this exhibition of a largely forgotten body of work not only explores the male form, but also offers an examination of erotic fantasies as experienced through publications that were available at nearly every newsstand in America, but that men often hid under their mattresses for fear of being discovered. The exhibition will feature originals of illustrations from the magazines, along with related work that has never been seen publicly.

“Many of the early magazines pretended to be bodybuilding, strength and health journals,” says Richards. “Sometimes they were called anatomy guides for artists. However, most of the men bought these magazines because they were gay. It was nearly their only opportunity to see handsome, well-made, virtually naked men. Buying one of these publications required an act of courage, espe­cially if the small-town drugstore owner had known the buyer and his family most of their lives.”

Stroke runs from July 21 to October 16, 2016 in the Front Gallery. A public opening reception is set for Thursday, July 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. In addition, curator Robert Richards will join Leslie-Lohman Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian in presenting a gallery talk on Friday, July 22, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Admission for each event is $5.00; free for members of the GLBT Historical Society.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

G63A3023copycopy-682x1024[1]Time Out New York notes that Robert W. Richards “has drawn everything from Paris haute couture to album covers and Broadway and cabaret posters and stars.” But for his many admirers, Richards is best known for his skillful and captivating drawings of sexually charged men. Next magazine observes, “He’s bound to go down in history as one of the gay community’s greatest and most influential artists.”

Now in his fifth decade of drawing, Richards is highly productive as an artist — and he occasionally pauses from his own work to curate exhibitions. At the Leslie-Lohman Museum, Richards curated The Gods of Erotica and a Peter Berlin retrospective. At the Museum of the Society of Illustrators, he curated The Line of Fashion. According to Richards, ”If something moves me, I’m willing to do the work to share it with people who otherwise might not have an opportunity to see what I’ve been fortunate enough to see.”

Opening April 1 “Dancers We Lost: Honoring Performers Lost to HIV/AIDS”

Dancers We Lost: Honoring Performers Lost to HIV/AIDS
April 1 – August 7
GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., SF.
Opening reception April 1, 7 pm – 9 pm, $5 donation
Second opening reception April 3, 2 pm – 5 pm, $5 donation

Please join us for this special traveling exhibit beginning April 1. Featuring beautiful photographs and other documentation, Dancers We Lost is a comprehensive dance history project honoring performers who died due to complications of HIV/AIDS. The exhibit runs through August 7 at the GLBT History Museum.


GLBTBoatwright-Banner_wCredit-web-ABOUT DANCERS WE LOST

The project includes an arts and public history exhibit showing the dancers in their prime performing in myriad venues including Broadway and Las Vegas shows, dance concerts, TV variety shows, films, ballet, music videos, and commercials. There also is a planned searchable database and biography file of each of the dancers.

The AIDS pandemic struck the performing arts particularly hard. Dancers We Lost is an important step in documenting and bringing to light the lives and contributions of performers, most of whom tragically died young. With an exhibit about their work and a database providing accurate information about their lives and careers, Dancers We Lost ensures they will not be forgotten, anonymous virtuosos.

ABOUT IMPACT STORIES

Dancers We Lost is presented by Impact Stories, an oral history project run by independent researcher and historian Glenne McElhinney. The project is sponsored by the California LGBT Arts Alliance, a 501c3 organization that supports the arts in the Golden State. The exhibit premiered in June 2015 at West Hollywood, California, as part of the summer programming around various venues within the city.

All photographs, scrapbooks, personal papers, biography files and items collected by the history project will go to the Museum of Performance + Design in San Francisco, the largest dance and performing archive on the West Coast.

Opening March 4: “Feminists to Feministas: Women of Color in Prints and Posters”

“FEMINISTS TO FEMINISTAS: WOMEN OF COLOR IN PRINTS AND POSTERS”
March 4 – July 4
GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., SF.
Opening reception March 4, 7pm-9pm, $5 donation

"Sisterhood is Powerful," 1970
“Sisterhood is Powerful,” 1970

A new exhibit of rare posters opens at the GLBT History Museum March 4. “Feminists to Feministas: Women of Color in Prints and Posters” contains 29 works of print art from the 1970s to the 1990s that visually trace the power of lesbians, bisexuals, and transwomen of color who rallied for sexual freedom and economic justice in the fight against racism, sexism, and imperialism. The exhibit runs through July 4 at the GLBT History Museum.


ABOUT “FEMINISTS TO FEMINISTAS”

On March 4, 2016, the GLBT History Museum in the Castro District of San Francisco will open an exhibit of 29 prints drawn from the GLBT Historical Society’s enormous poster collection; these prints are specifically chosen to illuminate the role of women of color in the evolving cultural messaging of queer prints and posters. Co-curators Amy Sueyoshi and Lisbet Tellefsen  selected images from the 1970s to the 1990s to trace both the changing aesthetic of posters and their significance for queer women of color.

The distinctly political images defy conventional standards of femininity, speak out against legislative abuses that disproportionately affect communities of color, and celebrate the health, beauty, and creativity of queer African American, Latina, and Asian Pacific Islander women. Come feel the power of Audre Lorde, Kitty Tsui, and Pepper from BurLEZk, as is the activism of lesbians and gays against intervention in Central America. See the dyke version of the seductive Calvin Klein underwear advertisements of the 1990s!

"We Support Gente" circa 1974
“We Support Gente” circa 1974

The prints illustrate how women of color have created community and initiated change through the building of coalitions across ethnicity and gender for multi-issue organizing.

“The GLBT Historical Society’s poster collection represents a remarkable time capsule of our communities’ history,” says co-curator Lisbet Tellefsen. “The collection is vast in both depth and scope and visually chronicles much of our history: from arts & culture to sex, politics and beyond. I look forward to mining this rich collection for years to come and am excited to offer this small glimpse into the collection with our initial exhibit, ‘Feminists to Feministas.’

“Sisterhood is Blooming” from 1972

Adds co-curator Amy Sueyoshi, “So invisible are queer women of color in gay scenes of the Castro, in marriage equality, and in the countless shows that are cropping up with queer characters. Yet so tirelessly do queer women of color work for justice, scrubbing on their hands and knees until their knuckles become raw. I wanted to put together a show that underscored the tremendous cultural and political work that they do without recognition or reward. To them – to us – I dedicate this exhibition.”

ABOUT THE CURATORS 

Lisbet Tellefsen is an archivist, collector, and producer of more than her fair share of posters as the publisher of Aché: A Black Lesbian Journal, 1989-1995.

Amy Sueyoshi is a historian and professor in Sexuality Studies and Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University, currently the Associate Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, and author of Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi.

For press inquiries, please contact Communications Director Marke Bieschke.

Reigning Queens opens Friday

no title4020 smallFriday, October 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.
GLBT History Museum.

Join us for the opening of Reigning Queens: The Lost Photos of Roz Joseph. Our newest exhibition presents evocative photographs of San Francisco’s epic drag and costume balls of the mid-1970s. Noted photographer Roz Joseph created these color images, which were rediscovered after she donated the series to the archives. Board member and curator Joey Plaster will be on hand to point out highlights of this new exhibition in the Community Gallery. Light refreshments will be served and a donation of $10 is suggested.