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The Queer Beginnings of Modern Art

18apr11:00 am12:15 pmThe Queer Beginnings of Modern Art11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Event Details

  • Gay Desert Guide's Fun & Games Dept. and present The Queer Beginnings of Modern Art
  • Join us for an exciting talk on how intrinsically linked the beginning of the Modern Art movement is with the emergence of a queer identity!
  • Can't make the live event? Buy a ticket for the recording and watch the event in your own time! See FAQs below for more info.
  • Modern art has its basis in experimentation. Beginning in the second half of the 19th century, modern artists eschewed the formality of their predecessors and embraced the kind of self-expression we've come to expect of art in general. At the very same time, pioneering scientists in Europe broke new ground in the nascent field of sexology—giving visibility (albeit one with a medical classification) to people who deviated from traditional notions of sex and gender.
  • Thus the link between the experimentation of modern artists, and the emergence of a group of identifiable people who transgressed the norms of Victorian sexual life, was in place from the very beginning of both movements, so much so that one can say, with complete accuracy, that the beginning of modern art was queer.
  • On this talk we shall explore several artists, both well known and obscure, who embody both an emergent queer identity and the advancement of modern art. We shall take a close look at:
    • F Holland Day, one of the key proponents of photography as an art form, and a controversial photographer himself.
    • Claude Cahun, pioneering trans artist and anti-Nazi resister.
    • The salon culture of Gertrude Stein, Natalie Barney, and Florine Stettheimer.
    • Paul Cadmus, and his satirical and subversive paintings.
    • Plus much more!
  • Taking us on a journey from the 19th century through to the early 20th, George Benson (co-creator of MoMA's first ever queer tour) will show you the fascinating links between queer art and a modern identity. Modern art is the richest source in history for queer art, and, as you will discover, it was like that from the very beginning!
  • Speaker Bio
    • George Benson (he/him) has worked as an educator and advocated for greater LGBTQ representation at The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. At MoMA he co-created the museum's first ever public queer tour, and at the British Museum he advised on their 2017 exhibition "Desire, Love, Identity—10,000 years of same sex desire."
  • FAQs

  • When will the Zoom invite come?
    • The Zoom invite will be in the CONFIRMATION EMAIL from your order—IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE IT IN YOUR CONFIRMATION EMAIL PLEASE MESSAGE US IMMEDIATELY. Subsequent to this, the Zoom invite will be sent to your email address at 48hrs, 2hrs, and 10mins before the event. PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM AND SOCIAL FOLDERS IF YOU DO NOT SEE THE ZOOM INVITE IN YOUR INBOX.
  • What time zone is the event scheduled in?
    • The event is scheduled for 2pm EST (i.e. New York time). You can watch it in any time zone but please adjust to the time zone you are in.
  • Will the event be recorded and available to view later?
    • Yes the event will be recorded and you can buy a ticket for the recording above. If you buy a ticket for the recording you will be emailed automatically after the event with a link to the recording, available to view for 1 week after receiving the link. If you bought a ticket for the live event but couldn't make it please email us and we will send you the link to the recording.


(Sunday) 11:00 am - 12:15 pm


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