New-York Historical Society commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and the dawn of the gay liberation movement this summer, as New York City welcomes WorldPride, the largest Pride celebration in the world. Stonewall 50 at New-York Historical Society features two exhibitions and a special installation, as well as public programs for all ages.
Letting Loose and Fighting Back: LGBTQ Nightlife Before and After Stonewall highlights the ways in which nightlife has been critical in shaping LGBTQ identity, building community, developing political awareness, and fostering genres of creative expression that have influenced popular culture worldwide. Serving as oases of expression, resilience, and resistance, LGBTQ bars, clubs, and nightlife spaces were hard-won in the face of policing, unfavorable public policies, and Mafia control. The exhibition begins with gay bars in the 1950s and 1960s continues through the rise of the gay liberation movement and the emergence of LGBTQ clubs as places of community activism.
By the Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives, curated by the Lesbian Herstory Archives Graphics Committee, highlights community-building, organization, and networking within the LGBTQ movement with a focus on the contributions of lesbians and queer women. A grassroots organization established in 1974 in response to the widespread erasure of lesbian lives and voices, the Lesbian Herstory Archives houses the world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians.The exhibition features photographs, books and manuscripts, periodicals, posters, zines, flyers, and clothes.
A special installation, Say It Loud, Out and Proud: Fifty Years of Pride, features imagery from New York City Pride marches and other LGBTQ protests from the 1960s to the present day, as well as a timeline of milestones and objects from LGBTQ history.
Stonewall 50 at New-York Historical Society is collaboratively curated by Rebecca Klassen, New-York Historical assistant curator of material culture, and from the Center for Women’s History, Jeanne Gardner Gutierrez, curatorial scholar in women’s history, and Rachel Corbman, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation predoctoral fellow in women’s history. By the Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives is curated by the Lesbian Herstory Archives Graphics Committee—Elvis Bakaitis, Flavia Rando, Ashley-Luisa Santangelo and Saskia Scheffer—and coordinated by the Center for Women’s History.
This exhibition is proudly sponsored by Bank of America. Programs are funded in part by a Humanities New York Action Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support provided by Judy Zankel.
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.