About The GLBT History Museum
Located in San Francisco's Castro District, The GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States. The museum celebrates 100 years of the city's vast queer past
through dynamic and surprising exhibitions and programming. To support the museum by becoming a member or
donor, click here.
Remodeled Gallery, All-New Exhibition
Queer Past Becomes Present to open May 15
The GLBT History Museum’s Main Gallery is currently closed for remodeling and the installation of the first entirely-new exhibition since the museum opened in 2011. On May 15, “Queer Past Becomes Present” will open.
Craig Harris, who created the overall museum design three years ago, has returned to design the new Main Gallery exhibit. Elisabeth Cornu, formerly with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, is leading the installation team.
The new gallery will be darker in background color and more clearly delineated from the front of the museum, which will allow us to feature more multi-media.
The lead curators of Queer Past Becomes Present are Jim Van Buskirk, coauthor of Gay By the Bay, and Dr. Amy Sueyoshi, author of Queer Compulsions and Associate Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. Associate curators include Juliet Demeter, Paul Boneberg, Darren Arquero and Dave Reichard.
The Museum's Main Gallery will be closed through May 14 while the new exhibition is installed. During that period, the Front Gallery and Store will be open and admission will be waived.
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus:
Celebrating 35 Years of Activism Through Song
Founded in 1978 as the first openly gay choral group in the world, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has performed for music lovers in the Bay Area and across the United States. Its rousing songs have accompanied the journey of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community for more than three decades. The little-known history of this enduring musical institution is the subject of The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus: Celebrating 35 Years of Activism Through Song.
Drawing on comprehensive archives that the chorus donated to the GLBT Historical Society, the exhibition foregrounds the group’s musical advocacy. In addition to posters, artifacts and photographs, the show features an interactive sound-and-video monitor. The displays highlight contributions of the chorus at key moments from the memorial march following the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978 to public celebrations of marriage equality in 2013.
"The chorus isn't just about making music," notes lead curator and longtime chorus member Tom Burtch. "Our performances have always been about making social change, too. Our singing has supported our community in its calls for equality, its hours of grief, its expressions of love and its celebrations of triumph. The exhibition doesn't just tell the story of the chorus; it also highlights the remarkable history of more than three decades of the movement for GLBT equality."
The Community Gallery space features small, focused shows, often marking the anniversary of an organization or event that has played a significant role in the history of the GLBT community in Northern California. The exhibits partner community curators with museum professionals to create new perspectives on Bay Area queer history.
The Community Gallery will be closed during the remodeling of the Main Gallery, and will open May 15..
The GLBT Historical Society and The GLBT History Museum have mounted or sponsored several exhibitions available for viewing on an ongoing basis on the Web:
Passionate Struggle: Dynamics of San Francisco's GLBT History. An overview of the exhibition at our pop-up museum in 2008–2009. Tracing elements of our communities’ affinities and differences, the show took visitors from the bedrooms and back rooms to the bookstores and bars, from Harvey Milk’s victories to transgender sex workers’ riots, from social movements to secret fantasies. View here.
Lineage: Matchmaking in the Archives.
GLBT Historical Society artist-in-residence E. G. Crichton has been matching living artists to the archives of the dead, asking each artist to invent a response in any medium. To see all work created so far, visit the Queer Cultural Center online gallery.
Dykes on Bikes: 30 Years at the Forefront.
Cocurator Glenne McElhinney leads a fast and informative video tour of exhibition shown at the GLBT Historical Society in 2008. Watch it now.
OutRanks: GLBT Military Service From World War II to the Iraq War. An overview of the 2007 exhibition created by guest curator Steve Estes — the first museum show in the U.S. to focus on the experience of GLBT servicemembers
and the American military policy on homosexuality. View here.
Capturing the Moment: The Photojournalism of Rick Gerharter. View the inaugural exhibit on our Flickr site: “Capturing the Moment: The Photojournalism of Rick Gerharter,” an encore version of a gallery exhibition shown at the GLBT Historical Society in 2006. View here.
Council on Religion and the Homosexual.
The LGBT Religious Archives Network and the GLBT Historical Society present this special exhibit, which portrays the early years of the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, a ground-breaking coalition of religious and homosexual activists in San Francisco in the mid-1960s. View here.