Past Exhibition

Stonewall 50 at New-York Historical Society

May 24, 2019 - December 1, 2019

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.

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. 

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, 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. 

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. 

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.

Shop with Pride! Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and the dawn of the modern LGBTQ Rights movement with our exclusive T-shirt, thoughtful gifts, informative books, and more! Browse in the NYHistory Store now.

Exhibition Highlights

Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Evelyn & Seymour Neuman 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 the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.

  • NYC Cultural Affairs
  • NY Council on the Arts

Media sponsor:

  • WNET New York Public Media