Last Chance Tate Britain Exhibition

Queer British Art 1861–1967

Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein) Self-Portrait 1942 Collection & © National Portrait Gallery, London

Presenting the first exhibition dedicated to queer British art

Featuring works from 1861–1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) identities, the show marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. Queer British Art explores how artists expressed themselves in a time when established assumptions about gender and sexuality were being questioned and transformed.

Deeply personal and intimate works are presented alongside pieces aimed at a wider public, which helped to forge a sense of community when modern terminology of ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’ and ‘trans’ were unrecognised. Together, they reveal a remarkable range of identities and stories, from the playful to the political and from the erotic to the domestic.

With paintings, drawings, personal photographs and film from artists such as John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington, Duncan Grant and David Hockney the diversity of queer British art is celebrated as never before.  

Simeon Solomon, ‘Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene’ 1864
Simeon Solomon
Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene 1864
Tate
Duncan Grant, ‘Bathing’ 1911
Duncan Grant
Bathing 1911
Tate
© Tate
John Singer Sargent, ‘Vernon Lee’ 1881
John Singer Sargent
Vernon Lee 1881
Tate
Henry Scott Tuke The Critics 1927 Courtesy of Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum (Warwick District Council)

Henry Scott Tuke The Critics 1927 Courtesy of Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum (Warwick District Council)

Keith Vaughan Drawing of two men kissing 1958–73 Tate Archive © DACS, The Estate of Keith Vaughan

Keith Vaughan Drawing of two men kissing 1958–73 Tate Archive © DACS, The Estate of Keith Vaughan 

William Strang Lady with a Red Hat 1918 Lent by Glasgow Life (Glasgow Museums) on behalf of Glasgow City Council. Purchased 1919

William Strang Lady with a Red Hat 1918 Lent by Glasgow Life (Glasgow Museums) on behalf of Glasgow City Council. Purchased 1919

Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington Oscar Wilde 1881 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington Oscar Wilde 1881 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library 

Why is the word 'queer' used in the exhibition title?

Queer has a mixed history – from the 19th century onwards it has been used both as a term of abuse and as a term by LGBT people to refer to themselves. Our inspiration for using it came from Derek Jarman who said that it used to frighten him but now 'for me to use the word queer is a liberation'. More recently, of course, it has become reclaimed as a fluid term for people of different sexualities and gender identities. Historians of sexuality have also argued that it is preferable to other terms for sexualities in the past as these often don't map onto modern sexual identites. In addition to carrying out audience research, we took advice from Stonewall and other LGBT charities and held focus groups with LGBT people. The advice from all of these sources was overwhelmingly that we should use it. While we tried other titles, no other option captured the full diversity of sexualities and gender identities that are represented in the show.

Text provided by Clare Barlow, curator of Queer British Art.

Tate Britain

  Millbank
London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Dates

5 April – 1 October 2017




Pricing

£15 FREE for Members

Adult £15

Senior £14

Concession £13.10

Under 12s FREE (up to four per family adult)

Family tickets (two adults and two children 12–18 years) available by telephone or in the gallery

Make a day of it and visit both Queer British Art and Rachel Whiteread with a free drink in between for £27

School groups must be booked in advance

Tickets can be booked up to 8 hours in advance online or up to 24 hours in advance by telephone on +44 (0)20 7887 8888

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Find out more

Exhibition Guide

Queer British Art 1861–1967

Read the room guide for this exhibition

Art Term

Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury is the name commonly used to identify a circle of intellectuals and artists who lived in Bloomsbury, near central ...

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