museums with pride

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[From Youtube]:  ’[The British Museum’s] collection of lesbian and gay badges is not widely known, but is kept in the butch Coins and Medals section just to the left of those very interestingly painted Greek vases.’ – ‘100 years of CAMP BADGES at the British Museum’, Pride programme (1987).

For the past 35 years Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals, has been collecting badges for the British Museum. In his episode of Curator’s Corner, Philip shows off some of the 400 or so LGBTQ badges now held in the British Museum.

These badges document crucial turning points in gay and lesbian history, and include many of the symbols and slogans used during LGBTQ demonstrations and Pride celebrations e.g. the pink triangle, the lambda and the rainbow. As part of the British Museum collection these badges will be kept as a record of the socio-political history of the LGBTQ community.

During NYC Pride weekend, join us for Queer Bodies, a tour exploring gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ perspectives in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection.

Lyle Ashton Harris (b. 1965), Billie #21, 2002. Dye diffusion transfer print, sheet: 33 ¾ × 22 1/16 in. (85.7 × 56 cm); image: 24 × 21 in. (61 × 53.3 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Photography Committee 2002.563 © Lyle Ashton Harris

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Checked out the African American History Museum in DC yesterday. I was overwhelmed at the depth of knowledge of our history all stored in one place. I couldnt even get pictures of the coolest shit because I was legit FOCUSED on absorbing as much of this stuff as possible.

A lot of the info is pretty much things we already know about our history, but there was a level of nuance there that offered a different angle that I appreciated so much.

There were for sure some inaccuracy in some of the information but I just chalk that up to the museum only having existed for 6 months.

I got all Hotep for a little bit and teary as I looked around at all of the beautiful Black people in all shades shapes and sizes wrapped in our culture. I caught myself sitting and staring at people (probably with a goofy look on my face) just soaking in as much as I could.

Overall a great recharging experience as we continue to deal with the many issues facing our people in 2017

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Chestertown, Maryland’s 2016 Downrigging Festival was a beautiful fall weekend for celebrating the most beautiful wooden boats on the Chesapeake Bay. Whether local ladies like the Sultana or the Elsworth, city girls like the Pride of Baltimore or the Sigsbee, or vessels from further afield like the Kalmar Nyckel, the ships are stacked up on the dock sometimes two-deep to allow visitors from around the country the chance to see and sail on these magnificent craft. 

It’s an event that marks the end of the tall ship season on the Chesapeake- and afterwards, many of the buyboats, bugeyes, schooners and clippers return to their home port to be unrigged, hauled and worked on over the winter. With fireworks, bluegrass, and some stately trips down the Chester River, thousands of people celebrate the year’s last hurrah for these charming watercraft. Hulls gleaming and flags standing proud in a warm fall breeze, they are reminders of a time not so distant when these ships were the Bay’s most essential connection between small Chesapeake towns and a vast maritime world. 

It’s a past worth celebrating- and a beautiful one, at that.


Images by author. All rights reserved.

On the occasion of Pride Month, we’re looking back at our own history of LGBTQ pride.

“David Wojnarowicz: A Fire in My Belly, A Work in Progress (1986-87)” (1999)

David Wojnarowicz is a widely respected artist whose first U.S. retrospective was held at the New Museum in 1999. The film, A Fire in My Belly, A Work in Progress (1986-87) is a poetic meditation on man, life, death, faith, and suffering made in part as a response to the AIDS-related death of his close friend, artist Peter Hujar. 

“The New Museum has always defended freedom of expression and continues to oppose censorship. We cannot afford to take hard won civil liberties for granted and need to remain vigilant and protect artistic freedom,” said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director.

When he was a boy he’d read books about great military campaigns, and visited the museums and looked with patriotic pride at the paintings of famous cavalry charges, last stands and glorious victories. It had come as rather a shock, when he later began to participate in some of these, to find that the painters had unaccountably left out the intestines. Perhaps they just weren’t very good at them.
—  Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Chance Encounter Ideas for Your Muses:

Muse A is a chaperone for a school field trip. In between wrangling second graders, they are stuck answering the questions of Muse B, who has incorrectly assumed Muse A is a tour guide.

Muse A is too busy looking at their phone to notice they’ve bumped into a pedestal and upset a priceless statue. Muse B catches the piece just before it hits the floor.

Muse A and their partner are observing in the planetarium. Unbeknownst to Muse A, their partner quickly runs out when they begin feeling sick. Muse B takes the empty seat, and Muse A’s hands begin wandering Muse B’s body in the dark.

Muse A feels a strange connection to an ancient artifact in a display case. They suddenly blurt out to Muse B that they think the piece may have belonged to them in a previous life.

Muse A is admiring one of the many exquisite paintings, when they feel like they’re being watched. They turn to see Muse B with pad and pencil, sketching them.

Muse A’s headphones for the audio tour are faulty. Instead of returning all the way back to the information desk, they ask Muse B if they wouldn’t mind sharing.

Muse A is completely and utterly lost! After several hours of wandering around the enormous museum, they swallow their pride and ask Muse B to help them find the exit.

Muse A comes to sit amongst the masterpieces whenever life gets a little overwhelming. Muse B does the same, and after seeing Muse A several times, Muse B decides to sit next to them and ask about their favorite piece.

Muse A has stepped inside the hurricane force wind simulator, only to have nearly all of their clothes blown off! Muse B quickly offers their jacket.

Muse A is mortified when they find out that the artist of the painting they were insulting is Muse B, and they had been standing next to them the entire time.