Thirty Years of Collecting Art that Tells Our Stories

May 2015 – March 2016

Curated by Elisabeth Cornu

 

Michael Caffee, Fe-Be's Leather David (1966), cast plaster sculpture with Fe-Be's plaque on base, GLBT Historical Society.

Michael Caffee, Fe-Be's Leather David (1966), cast plaster sculpture with Fe-Be's plaque on base, GLBT Historical Society.

This exhibition showcased drawings, paintings, and three-dimensional artworks that are part of the GLBT Historical Society’s Art & Artifacts collection. Curator Elisabeth Cornu selected artworks produced during one of the most tumultuous periods in the local LBGT liberation movement: the 1960s to the 1990s.

“This is the first time we’ve devoted an exhibition to the artworks in our holdings, because we’ve only recently realized what a terrific way this could be to tell some of our stories,” Cornu said. “This exhibition is for everyone interested in Bay Area history, but I especially hope to bring in art lovers who may not have visited our museum before.”

The exhibition included photographs and artifacts from the women’s community enclave that emerged along Valencia Street in the city’s Mission District, anchored by pioneering institutions such as the Artemis Café and the San Francisco Women’s Building. It also included artworks by queer men, such as a mural from the long-gone Bulldog Baths on Turk Street—the nation’s largest gay bathhouse—and a set of handmade tarot cards called “Folsom Tarot Major Arcana.”

 

About the Curator

Elisabeth Cornu is an independent museum specialist, and former head of objects conservation at Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She works as a museum studies advisor locally and internationally.

Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez, Drawing for Maestrapeace Mural, Women’s Building (ca. 1993), pen and ink with color pencil on blue print, GLBT Historical Society.

Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton and Irene Perez, Drawing for Maestrapeace Mural, Women’s Building (ca. 1993), pen and ink with color pencil on blue print, GLBT Historical Society.


Banner photo: Mike Cassidy, Interior of the Ambush Bar (1983), oil on canvas, GLBT Historical Society.