DIANA DAVIES, UNTITLED (MARSHA P. JOHNSON HANDS OUT FLYERS FOR SUPPORT OF GAY STUDENTS AT N.Y.U.), C. 1970. Digital print. 11 x 14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm). Photo by Diana Davies/© The New York Public Library/Art Resource, NY

‘Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989’ Comes Together in Miami

Beginning in September, Miami will be the only place to view all 200-plus pieces on offer in ‘Art After Stonewall’ under one roof.

In September, the city of Miami will play host to a first-of-its-kind exhibition when Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 opens to the public. The groundbreaking collection of art focuses on the struggles and triumphs in the two decades following the historic uprisings in Greenwich Village in 1969.

Fifty years ago, New York watched as an embattled LGBTQ community pushed back against a system that had persecuted them for decades. When six police officers raided Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn just after 1 am on June 29, things quickly turned ugly. A crowd began to grow outside the dingy little club as a line of drag queens, gay men, lesbians, and other members of New York’s LGBTQ population were lined up and marched outside the little bar. Of the 13 people initially arrested that night, some were to be charged with inappropriate gender apparel, one of a bevy of crimes designed to out and then publicly ostracize members of the LGBTQ community.

JEB (JOAN E. BIREN), GLORIA AND CHARMAINE, 1979/2016. Digital silver halide C-type print. 8 3⁄4 x 12 inches (22.23 x 30.48 cm). Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Museum purchase 2016.32.1. Image courtesy of and copyright the artist
JEB (JOAN E. BIREN), GLORIA AND CHARMAINE, 1979/2016. Digital silver halide C-type print. 8 3⁄4 x 12 inches (22.23 x 30.48 cm). Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Museum purchase 2016.32.1. Image courtesy of and copyright the artist

When the crowd of 100-plus people tried to stop the police from physically abusing the bar’s patrons, a fight broke out. The police barricaded themselves inside the Stonewall to escape the outraged crowd. By the time reinforcements arrived to rescue the cops, the powder keg had been lit. What followed was an escalating series of conflicts that became known as the first major event in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. 

In addition to drawing the world’s attention to their cause, the Stonewall Uprising encouraged hundreds of artists to express themselves freely. The result was a powerful exploration of sexuality, identity, and culture that had never been seen. Now, for the first time, the photographs, paintings, and videos that came to life in the wake of the Stonewall rebellion are coming to the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University.

ROB HUGH ROSEN, SYLVESTER AS LADY DAY (#1), 1970. Silver gelatin print. 9 1⁄2 x 7 1⁄2 inches (24.13 x 19.05 cm). Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Gift of the artist 2012.45.1 © Rob Hugh Rosen
ROB HUGH ROSEN, SYLVESTER AS LADY DAY (#1), 1970. Silver gelatin print. 9 1⁄2 x 7 1⁄2 inches (24.13 x 19.05 cm). Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Gift of the artist 2012.45.1 © Rob Hugh Rosen

The exhibition was organized by the Columbus Museum of Art, and was curated by the artist and art historian Jonathan Weinberg, with Daniel Marcus and Drew Sawyer.

Considering Miami’s history as one of the most prominent battlegrounds in the fight for LGBTQ civil rights it seems fitting that of the three cities enjoying the exhibition, the Frost Art Museum is the only location showcasing the entire collection under one roof.

Between September 14 and January 5, Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 will proudly showcase some of the most talented artists from the LGBTQ community, those men and women who found the courage to pick up their brushes and cameras and take up the fight begun in that dingy, little bar fifty years ago.

PETER HUJAR, DANIEL WARE (COCKETTE), 1971. Silver gelatin print, 16 x 20 inches (40.64 x 50.80 cm). Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Gift of the Peter Hujar Archive, LLC 2013.181.19. Image courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC
PETER HUJAR, DANIEL WARE (COCKETTE), 1971. Silver gelatin print, 16 x 20 inches (40.64 x 50.80 cm). Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Gift of the Peter Hujar Archive, LLC 2013.181.19. Image courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC
CATHY CADE, CHRISTOPHER STREET WEST, LA: NONE OF US IS FREE UNTIL ALL OF US ARE FREE, 1972. Digital print. 16 x 11 inches (40.64 x 27.94 cm). Copyright and courtesy of the artist
CATHY CADE, CHRISTOPHER STREET WEST, LA: NONE OF US IS FREE UNTIL ALL OF US ARE FREE, 1972. Digital print. 16 x 11 inches (40.64 x 27.94 cm). Copyright and courtesy of the artist
SUNIL GUPTA, UNTITLED #8 FROM THE SERIES CHRISTOPHER STREET, 1976. Archival inkjet print. 11 x 7 1⁄2 inches (27.94 x 19.05 cm). Copyright and courtesy of the artist and sepiaEYE
SUNIL GUPTA, UNTITLED #8 FROM THE SERIES CHRISTOPHER STREET, 1976. Archival inkjet print. 11 x 7 1⁄2 inches (27.94 x 19.05 cm). Copyright and courtesy of the artist and sepiaEYE
HONEY LEE COTTRELL, COASTBOUND TRAIN, RACHEL AND ELEXIS, 1985. Silver gelatin print. 10 x 8 inches (25.40 x 20.32 cm). Honey Lee Cottrell Papers, #7822. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. © Estate of Honey Lee Cottrell
ROGER BROWN, CITY NIGHTS: ALL-YOU-WANTED-TO-KNOW-OR-DIDN’T-WANT-TO-KNOW-AND- WERE-AFRAID-TO-ASK A CLOSET PAINTING (SUBTITLE SUPPLIED BY BARBARA BOWMAN), 1978. Oil on canvas. 72 x 48 inches (182.88 x 121.92 cm). Collection Mark Bednar. © The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Brown Family
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