Art and Underground Culture in New York
Through February 26, 2017
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Celebrating an often-hidden side of the history of New York City.
New York has long been a beacon for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender artists seeking freedom, acceptance, and community. Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York brings to life the queer creative networks that sprang up in the city across the 20th century—a series of artistic subcultures whose radical ideas had lasting effects on the mainstream.
Peeling back the layers of New York’s LGBT life that thrived even in the shadows, this groundbreaking exhibition reveals an often-hidden side of the history of New York City and celebrates the power of artistic collaboration to transcend oppression. Visitors will encounter well-known figures, from Mae West to Leonard Bernstein to Andy Warhol, and discover lesser-known ones, such as feminist artist Harmony Hammond, painter and writer Richard Bruce Nugent, and transgender artist Greer Lankton. Surprising relationships emerge: Warhol and Mercedes de Acosta; Robert Mapplethorpe and Cecil Beaton; George Platt Lynes and Gertrude Stein.
Comprising two full galleries, Gay Gotham features the work of these artists, including paintings and photographs, as well as letters, snapshots, and ephemera that illuminate their personal bonds and reveal secrets that were scandal-provoking in their time and remain largely unknown today.