In anticipation of Sunday’s Pride March in NYC, be sure to check out these art tours and exhibitions. Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ community or an ally, you’ll learn about powerful histories and be introduced to new perspectives through your attendance. But ultimately, these intimate, art-centric ways of celebrating Pride create reminders that love is present, even in the most difficult of times.
If you haven’t already, check out this multi-media documentation of a decade of LGBTQ history, currently on view at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. The exhibition consists of drawings, photographs, and paintings which cover and respond to events ranging from the Stonewall Riots to the emergence of the AIDS crisis. Located in SoHo, the museum is the first in the world with the mission of preserving and fostering the art of LGBTQ community members. It also aims to educate, challenge, and inspire all who visit, and the museum certainly fulfills its mission through this show.
2. Attend the “Gay Secrets of the Met” tour.
From Hellenistic sculptures to High Renaissance painting, learn the hidden sexual histories behind some of the Met’s greatest works. This 2-hour tour is led by Professor Andrew Lear, who has taught Classics, art history, and gender studies at Harvard, Columbia and NYU. Lear will cover topics that range from the importance of same-sex love in ancient Greece sculpture to discussing a lesbian artist in 19th-century France who portrayed herself in man’s clothing. So stop by the Met this Saturday from 2-4 pm to discover a whole new side of the institution; purchase your tickets here.
3. Pause at the Rainbow Flag at the MoMA.
In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker created the now iconic rainbow flag at a Gay Community Center in San Francisco. And last year, the MoMA acquired the work. Springing from Harvey Milk’s message of asserting one’s self, Baker couldn’t think of a better medium to visually translate his friend’s words. The first rainbow flags were formed on a low budget, with the process consisting of large trash cans holding the dye, water, and salt for the fabric, which was tended to by more than thirty volunteers. So, the next time you pass a rainbow flag, be reminded of the history the flag carries. Or, carve out a few minutes this weekend to go to the MoMA and reflect on the powerful, iconic color mélange.
Happy Pride Weekend!
top image // Courtesy of Benson Kua