Coming Out exhibition to open in Birmingham

Over 80 modern and contemporary art work on sexuality, gender and identity is to be displayed Birmingham Museum in December.

The exhibition will be marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts was passed in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act).

Coming Out was showcased first in Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, which ended 5th November. But new pieces have been added to the collection for the Birmingham exhibit, such as photography by Birmingham-based artist Vanley Burke.

Still from Bear_Steve McQueen Steve McQueen, Bear, 1993.

Works by Birmingham-based photographer Vanley Burke will be on display for the first time. The three photographic prints are of a Pride Demonstration in Wolverhampton in 1988 where protesters were challenging the Government’s now repealed Section 28 Act, which stated that a local authority should not intentionally promote homosexuality in publishing or teaching.

 

Works by Birmingham-based photographer Vanley Burke will be on display for the first time. The three photographic prints are of a Pride Demonstration in Wolverhampton in 1988 where protesters were challenging the Government’s now repealed Section 28 Act, which stated that a local authority should not intentionally promote homosexuality in publishing or teaching.

Amongst the Birmingham based photographer there will be many known artists including work by Steve McQueen, Andy Warhol, David Hockey, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin along with Turner-prize winning artist Grayson Perry’s iconic ‘Claire’s Coming Out Dress’ which he wore to mark his emergence as a transvestite to the art world.

Claire’s Coming Out Dress by Turner-prize winning artist Grayson Perry’s

A gallery trail will accompany the exhibition and take visitors through 25 artworks presented in nine of Birmingham’s galleries, to raise awareness of the visibility of LGBT+ stories in museum collections.

Lisa Beauchamp, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “Coming Out marks a major moment for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery as we highlight the importance of LGBT+ history on contemporary art in this significant anniversary year.

“In devising Birmingham’s exhibition we have been fortunate enough to secure exciting new loans, which will make this a must-see exhibition for those who have already enjoyed Liverpool’s show and for those who will be completely new to it.”

There will also be an engagement programme, facilitated by Arts Council Collection National Partnership, in a dedicated space called FORUM. The events and activities have been developed by working in partnership with local artists and community groups.

These events include ‘An Intimate Tour with Breasts’, an outdoor walking tour on the multicultural mythologies surrounding breasts, Life Drawing with a Drag Queen, a Polari language class with artist Jez Dolan and a Drag King Makeover session.

Jill Constantine, Head of Arts Council Collection: “I’m delighted that this important show will travel to Birmingham and the new additions will further enrich the exhibition and allow us to see and celebrate the huge contribution to the visual arts made by the LGBTQ+ communities.”

It will open to public from Saturday 2nd December 2017 to Sunday 15th April 2018.

For more details visit birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/coming-out-sexuality-gender-and-identity

 

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