Now On Display at Tate Britain: Queer British Art 1861-1967

The London gallery’s new exhibition officially opened to the public today. Here’s what you need to know about it…. 

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Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein), self-portrait, 1942 NPG (c) National Portrait Gallery, London. 

This exhibition is the first to be dedicated to queer British art, comprised of material that relates to  lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ+) identities while marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales.

The work on display relates everything from the the abolition of the death penalty for sodomy in 1861 to the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967, a period that showed monumental shifts in gender and sexuality that found expression in the arts as artists and viewers explored their desires, experiences and sense of self.

From the playful all the way through to the explicit, Queer British Art 1861 – 1967 will display a rich variety of queer British art and the role it played in society.

Artists whose work appears in the exhibition includes Francis Bacon, Keith Vaughan, Evelyn de Morgan, Gluck, Glyn Philpot, Claude Cahun and Cecil Beaton.

Themes explored in the exhibition will allow visitors to understand issues such as coded desires amongst the Pre-Raphaelites, representations of and by women who defied convention (including Virginia Woolf), and love and lust in sixties Soho.

As well as works of art, Queer British Art 1861 – 1967 will also display the door from Oscar Wilde’s prison cell, Charles Buchel’s portrait of Radclyffe Hall and erotic drawings by Aubrey Beardsley.

The exhibition is curated by Clare Barlow, Assistant Curator, Tate Britain with Amy Concannon, Assistant Curator, Tate Britain.

Queer British Art 1861-1967 will be on display at Tate Britain until the 1st October 2017. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/queer-british-art-1861-1967