Tate opens first exhibition honouring queer British art

A milestone in LGBTQ history.  

Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) The Critics 1927 Oil on board 412 x 514 mm Warwick District Council (Leamington Spa, UK)

It’s about time a popular institution such as the Tate Britain created an exhibition solely dedicated queer (British) art. As the first of its kind, the renowned museum’s new exposé welcomes work created between 1861 and 1967, spanning a broad range of art created in an era when words such as “homosexuality” and “transgender” held little acknowledgment or acceptance.

Creating an expansive exhibit relating to LGBTQ identities, the spring exhibit marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of male homosexuality in England and Wales. The specific time frame stands as an important reference—1861 being the abolition of the death penalty for ‘sodomy’ and 1967 standing for the passing of the Sexual Offences Act—and illustrates the evolution and progression of how sexuality has become publicly defined.


Out Keith Vaughan Drawing of two men kissing 1958–73 Tate Archive © DACS, The Estate of Keith Vaughan

With work from David Hockney and Francis Bacon, amongst others, Tate explores the “playful to the political, the explicit to the domestic” and showcases the rich diversity of queer visual art and its role in society. As a mixed media exhibition featuring personal photographs, magazines, films, queer ephemera and even the door from Oscar Wilde’s prison cell, this exhibit is sure to tell you everything you need to know about the history (and development) of Queer British Art.


Self portrait and Nude 1913 Laura Knight (1877-1970) Self-Portrait 1913 Oil on canvas 152.4 x 127.6 cm National Portrait Gallery (London, UK)

5 April until 1 October 2017




Words by Lottie Hodson


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