LGBTQ histories at the British Museum

2017 is the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in July 1967. This legislation partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales and marks an important milestone in the campaign for equality. To celebrate this anniversary, the British Museum will host two displays and a public programme relating to LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) histories. There will also be an accompanying trail through the permanent galleries.

David Hockney: Fourteen Poems from C P Cavafy
March – May 2017 Room 90a, free
In 1966 David Hockney produced a series of etchings inspired by the work of the Greek poet C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933). Cavafy’s poetry reflects his personal experience as a Greek raised in Alexandria and his knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean world. Same-sex love and desire is a central theme in Cavafy’s work.

Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories
11 May- 15 October 2017 Room 69a, free
The display Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories provides glimpses into LGBTQ experience across time and around the world through the British Museum’s collection. The earliest object dates from around 9000BC. Some objects relate to named individuals; others offer glimpses into what the novelist EM Forster memorably described as a ‘great unrecorded history.’

LGBTQ Trail
A significant number of objects related to LGBTQ histories are currently on display in the British Museum’s permanent galleries. A trail will be developed to help visitors easily identify these objects and explore LGBQT histories in the Museum’s collection in more depth.

Hidden in plain sight: finding LGBTQ histories at the British Museum
14 February 2017, 13:15-14:00, Room 61 A gallery talk by Laura Phillips, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories, on LGBTQ objects in the permanent collection.

Exploring LGBTQ histories at the British Museum
19 February 2017, 10.30 – 16.00
This all day event is part of the OUTing the Past National Festival of LGBT History in collaboration with LGBT History Month. The programme will include talks and creative family activities focused on objects with LGBTQ stories in the British Museum’s collection.

LGBTQ: our family
11.00–16.00, Great Court Free, just drop in
The British Museum will host a family craft activity inspired by LGBTQ History Month that explores how families are unique. Visitors can work with an artist to create a family portrait inspired by works in the collection and make a love token to take home.

LGBTQ: digital rethink
19 February 2017, 11.00–12.00, 13.00–14.00 & 15.00–16.00, Rooms 51, 69 and 70
Free, just drop in
Visitors can use digital tablets to make posters inspired by the relationships depicted on Museum objects. Visitors are encouraged to rethink who made the objects, who they were for and what their impact is.

LGBTQ Objects of desire tour with Babs Guthrie
Sat 11 Mar, 15.30–16.30

David Hockney’s Fourteen Poems from C P Cavafy, Room 90a
Thu 6 Apr, 13.15–14.00, Room 90a
A gallery talk by Stuart Frost, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

David Hockney: from poetry to print
Wed 3 May, 13.15–14.00, Room 90a

LGBTQ Objects of desire tour with Babs Guthrie
Fri 19 May, 19.00–20.00

Desire Love Identity
Thursday 27 July,13.15-14.00, Room 69a
A gallery talk by Laura Phillips, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.
A gallery talk by Jennifer Ramkalawon, curator of Western Modern and Contemporary Graphic Works.

Desire Love Identity
Tuesday 16 May, 13.15-14.00, Room 69a
A gallery talk by Stuart Frost, co-curator of Desire Love Identity: exploring LGBTQ histories.

www.britishmuseum.org

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture, and Creative Director of FAD Agency, a digital creative agency: www.fad.agency