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Celebrating National LGBTQ Pride Month

Every year thousands of marches, rallies, and gatherings are held around the world in celebration of LGBTQ Pride during June. This month was chosen as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969, in which a series of demonstrations against a police raid of the gay-friendly Stonewall Inn became the catalyst for the LGBTQ rights movement. 

Celebrate Pride Month with a visit to the galleries to see these works by LGBTQ artists. 

Evasion, 1947, Jared French (American, 1905-1988)

On view in Gallery 226B, Evasion depicts several versions of the same man. The painting belongs to a series of works titled “Aspects of Man,” in which the artist explored various aspects of human existence. An openly bisexual man, Jared French’s painting explores both the tensions between the physical and mental selves as well as the cultural tensions experienced by LGBTQ individuals in mid-century America. 

The Sleeping Faun, modeled 1864, carved c. 1870, Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (American, 1830-1908)

Though born in the United States, Harriet Hosmer spent most of her adult life working as a sculptor in Rome. Highly successful, she had a wide circle of friends that included other expatriate female sculptors as well as painters, writers, and actors. She had a number of what she called ‘flirtations’ with other women, culminating in a long-lasting relationship with the British noblewoman Louisa, Lady Ashburton, whom she referred to as her beloved.  See Hosmer’s Sleeping Faun in Gallery 206. 

Military, 1914-1915, Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1943)

Marsden Hartley painted Military, on view in Gallery 226A, at the dawn of the First World War. He was living in Germany at the time, and was in love with a young German lieutenant named Karl von Freyburg. The flags and numbers in the painting symbolize von Freyburg in various ways: the red, flower-like cross in the middle, for example, refers to his military unit in the Kaiser’s guards. 

Untitled, 1990, Robert Gober (American, 1954–)

In his work, Robert Gober has explored the AIDS crisis, gay rights, and censorship, among other issues. Untitled, a disembodied wax leg protruding from the gallery wall in 229C, serves as a reminder of the traumatic effects on the lives of the people who have undergone these experiences.  

 

Untitled, 1986, Scott Miller (American, 1955-2008)

Inspired by cartoons and graffiti, Scott Miller’s work Untitled, on view in Gallery 228B, likely explores his identity as a gay man. Painted during the AIDS crisis, Untitled features a nude male figure floating through a field of strange intestine-like shapes, animals, and leaves. Miller lived and worked in Cleveland, graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1983 with a degree in photography. 

Marilyn x 100, 1962, Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)

On view in Gallery 229A, Marilyn x 100 depicts the actress Marilyn Monroe 50 times in color and 50 times in black and white. Fascinated by celebrity and consumer culture, Andy Warhol made many different depictions of Marilyn in addition to this one. Warhol lived openly as a gay man, even before the dawn of the gay liberation movement, and often explored the complexities of sex and desire in his works. 

For more information about Pride Month activities in Cleveland, check out Pride in the CLE, with a march and festival on June 3; and Cleveland Pride, with a parade, rally, and festival on June 24. 

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Guest Author

Corriveau, Bethany

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Bethany develops and manages programs for special exhibitions and the permanent collection, including lectures, demonstrations, workshops, and other events such as MIX at CMA First Fridays. She holds a Master's degree in art history and museum studies from Case Western Reserve University.

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