LGBTQ takes centre stage at Brighton Museum

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Comprehensive programme starts 20 July 2017

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, UK

 This summer, Brighton Museum will launch a programme of projects, exhibitions, displays and activities to celebrate and connect with LGBTQ lives, histories and culture.  2017 marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK via the Sexual Offences Act (1967).

Major inclusions in the programme will be:

  • Be Bold: a series of collaborative events and exhibitions funded by Arts Council England, and programmed in partnership with Brighton & Hove’s LGBTQ communities following an open call.  The exhibitions will be free with museum admission and aim to reflect the experiences and achievements of the city’s LGBTQ residents, and the first to be hosted will be:

Museum of Transology – 20 July 2017 to summer 2018, Spotlight Gallery
The Museum of Transology is a bold, brave and profound collection of artefacts and photographic portraiture that began with donations from Brighton’s vibrant trans community.  It is now the largest collection representing trans people in the UK – if not the world. This highly intimate exhibition challenges the idea that gender is fixed, binary and biologically determined, by exploring how the objects reflect the participants’ self-determined gender journeys.

Collected and curated by E-J Scott, and made possible by those who donated their stories and personal objects, the display will feature photography by Bharat Sikka and Sharon Kilgannon, My Genderation films by Fox Fisher and Lewis Hancox, Sexing the Transman and Mr Angel documentaries by adult film star Buck Angel, and behind the scenes footage from Born Risky by Grayson Perry.
#Transology / brightonmuseums.org.uk/MOT

Press images: brightonmuseums.org.uk/Transology-images (login: press / dragons)

  • Glyn Philpot – 20 July 2017 to January 2018, Fine Art Gallery
    The city of Brighton & Hove’s diverse collections include an exceptionally strong group of paintings and sculpture by English artist Glyn Philpot (1884-1937).  This display explores the artist’s life, his relationships with Henry Thomas and his patrons, his hope to reconcile the religious image with the contemporary, and the modernising impact he had on portraiture.
    http://brightonmuseums.org.uk/discover/events/event/glyn-philpot

Press images: brightonmuseums.org.uk/Philpot-images (login: press / dragons)

  • Brighton & Hove Pride 2017: Royal Pavilion & Museums float – 5 August 2017
    Royal Pavilion & Museums will take part in this year’s Brighton & Hove Pride, making it the first Museum service to have a Pride float in the UK.  Pride 2017 is inspired by the 1967 Act, under the title of The Summer of Love, and RPM’s float will represent all of its five sites – from the Royal Pavilion to Preston Manor.  Staff will build the float and appear on it on the day, many of them in costumes they’ve made themselves
  • Wear it Out: a partnership with The Centre for Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, funded by a National Lottery grant of £64,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will explore the cultural heritage of dress of LGBTQ communities in Sussex 1917 – 2017, looking at how dress is used to express identities and sexualities of individuals who identify as LGBTQ (arts.ac.uk/research/ual-research-centres/centre-for-fashion-curation/selected-cffc-projects, project press release available on request).

The project will involve the local community and museum visitors in volunteer experiences, public events and an education programme, as well as a major exhibition and a new display:

Gluck: Art & Identity – 18 November 2017 to 11 March 2018
The 20th century artist Gluck (1895-1978), now also recognised as a trailblazer of gender fluidity, is the subject of this major new exhibition bringing together around 30 rarely-seen paintings and extensive personal ephemera.

Born Hannah Gluckstein into a wealthy Jewish family, the artist adopted the name Gluck and created a controversial masculine identity in the inter-war years.  Gluck soon became known for striking portraits, land/seascapes, stage scenes and floral paintings.  Having developed a cult following, many Gluck paintings are today owned by private individuals and seldom exhibited.

This landmark exhibition will take the approach of a forensic investigation, bringing together key artworks like The Devil’s Altar (1932) with other surviving evidence of Gluck’s life – including clothing, accessories, photographs and press cuttings largely donated by Gluck to Brighton & Hove’s collections.

Full press release available on request.
#GluckBrighton / brightonmuseums.org.uk/gluck
Press images: brightonmuseums.org.uk/Gluck-images (login: press / dragons)

Queer Looks – opens summer 2018, Fashion Gallery
This display in Brighton Museum’s Fashion Gallery will feature around 20 outfits representing LGBTQ fashion and style in Brighton & Hove since 1967.  The outfits, which have belonged to local LGBTQ residents, will be donated via outreach activities and public events or collected via auctions and vintage shops, and will be added to the city’s Fashion Collection.

Adult volunteers of all ages will also be recruited from the local LGBTQ community to take part in an oral history project, enabling them to exchange experiences of growing up as LGBTQ in Brighton & Hove.  Extracts of some of the interviews will be included in the display, and younger volunteers will use the material to develop their own fashion stories inspired by different eras’ LGBTQ clothing for an online exhibition.

Sarah Posey, Head of Collections, Interpretation and Learning, said: “As a city, Brighton & Hove has the UK’s largest proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans residents – communities that significantly shape its identity.  We’re tremendously excited to be working in partnership with them to place LGBTQ lives centre stage at Brighton Museum.

“The resulting programme will be ground-breaking and diverse, and aims to explore experiences and stories, challenge preconceptions and build understanding. When so many people world-wide are still targeted for their sexual orientation or gender identity, asserting a positive stance in representing LGBTQ lives is an important part of our work.”