Did you know that February is LGBT History Month? Throughout February Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has been marking the month with a series of inspiring and thougt-provoking events and activities as part of its Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity exhibition. And there’s still time to get involved.
Running until Sunday 15th April 2018, Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender & Identity, opened in 2017 marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts was passed in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act).
Bringing artworks of international significance to Birmingham, the majority of which have been borrowed from the Arts Council Collection, the exhibition includes iconic pieces by Andy Warhol, Steve McQueen, Grayson Perry, Derek Jarman, Sarah Lucas, Charlotte Prodger and Gillian Wearing. Artworks span the 1950s to the present day, reflecting artist’s different experiences pre and post the passing of the 1967 Act.
Coming Out was conceived by National Museums Liverpool and the exhibition has been re-presented with key additional works to offer differing perspectives on the exhibition’s central themes.
A gallery trail accompanies the main exhibition and takes visitors on an insightful journey of 25 artworks presented in nine of Birmingham’s fine art collection galleries. The trail brings the show’s themes to life in new settings and raises awareness of the visibility of LGBT+ stories in museum collections.
Before LGBT History Month comes to an end, visitors still have time to get involved in events and activities which aim to continue to extend conversations and engagement beyond the exhibition.
Curator’s tour: Friday 23 February, 1pm – 2pm
Coming Out curator and contemporary art expert Lisa Beauchamp will be giving a fun and informative Curator’s Tour of the exhibition itself. Delve deeper into the history and meaning of the moving artworks on display, and how the exhibition was developed. Visitors are encouraged to participate if they feel comfortable doing so in this welcoming and inclusive environment, whilst experiencing these beautiful, challenging and moving artworks with likeminded art lovers.
Adults only. £5 per ticket. Pre-booking recommended, but spaces may be available on the day.
Outing the Past: Saturday 24 February, 12pm – 5pm
Learn more about LGBT history this commemorative month from the people who have lived it. Hosted in partnership with SHOUT Festival, ‘Outing the Past’ is a free drop-in afternoon of talks and presentations as part of the National LGBT History Festival of the same name. Visitors can listen to perspectives from across the country whilst enjoying tea and coffee.
Object Handling and Reminiscence - Secret 60s: Sunday 25 February, 1pm – 4pm
Get your hands on vintage LGBT+ themed objects from Birmingham Museums’ handling collection in this ‘Secret 60s’ Object Handling and Reminiscence session. Use, hold and share objects from the 1960s such as rare books, textiles, magazines and photographs.
Share memories, relax to music and news clips from the decade, and use the unique objects in conjunction with powerful artwork to explore a decade of decriminalisation. All are welcome to share their stories, memories, and reactions. The Collecting Birmingham team will join the event and will be on hand to offer advice on how to share your story. The event includes tea and coffee.
Coming Out is a touring exhibition conceived by National Museums Liverpool, in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme 2016–19. The exhibition follows several years of research by National Museums Liverpool which reveals concealed LGBT+ histories.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is an Arts Council Collection National Partner. The Arts Council Collection is managed by Southbank Centre, London on behalf of Arts Council England.
For more details visit birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/coming-out-sexuality-gender-and-identity