NYC - The Official Guide

Year of Pride Arts & Culture

Among the inspiring events in New York City are exhibitions and festivals filled with films, paintings, fashion designs, photography and other artworks that showcase the creativity and diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Read on for details as you fill out your calendar for the celebration ahead.

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Self portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1980.
Gelatin silver print, 35.6 x 35.6 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Gift, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation 93.4289
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Self portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1980. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Gift, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission

Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now
January 25, 2019–January 5, 2020
This retrospective features the work of renowned photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, including his early collages, exploration of erotic themes and iconic photographs of the male form.

"Dance at Gay Activist Alliance Firehouse" by Diana Davies, 1971. New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division

Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50
Through July 14
Explore the emergence of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement during the 1960s and ’70s through photographs from pioneering journalists Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, on display at the New York Public Library.

"Stevedores Bathing Under Brooklyn Bridge" by Edward Casey, 1939. Image Courtesy of the Green-Wood Historic Fund

On the (Queer) Waterfront
Through August 4
Learn about the largely forgotten LGBTQ+ communities that thrived along Brooklyn’s waterfront in the 1800s and through WWII, highlighting both the changes and continuities in the ideas and experiences of sexuality in Brooklyn.

Paul Cadmus. Set Design for the Ballet Filling Station 1937. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1941. © Estate of Paul Cadmus "Set Design for the Ballet Filling Station" (1937), by Paul Cadmus. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1941. © Estate of Paul Cadmus

Lincoln Kirstein's Modern
March 17–June 15
Known for establishing the New York City Ballet, Kirstein was also a key figure in MoMA’s history. This exhibition illuminates Kirstein’s influence on MoMA’s collecting, exhibition and publication history, and his position at the center of a network of queer artists, intimates and collaborators.

Rethinking The Closet: New York Queer Life Before Stonewall
April 16
Columbia University's Just Societies Speaker Series wraps up its Spring 2019 season with this special lecture on LGBTQ+ history before Stonewall by Columbia's DeWitt Clinton Professor of History and author George Chauncey (Gay New York). 

Keith Haring. National Coming Out Day. 1988. Offset lithograph 26 x 23 in. © Keith Haring Foundation National Coming Out Day, by Keith Haring, 1988. © Keith Haring Foundation

Art After Stonewall, 1969–1989
April 24–July 21
Presented in two galleries, this will be the first major exhibition to highlight the impact of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement on the art world. Over 150 works of art and materials from artists including Nan Goldin, Holly Hughes, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol will be on view.

Tuesday Smillie. S.T.A.R. 2012. Courtesy of the artist. © Tuesday Smillie S.T.A.R., by Tuesday Smilie, 2012. Courtesy of the artist. © Tuesday Smillie

Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall
May 3–December 8
Borrowing its title from the rallying words of transgender artist and activist Marsha P. Johnson, this exhibit aims to expand understanding of the Stonewall Uprising beyond the image of protesters in the streets to consider the everyday acts that reinforce such public activism.

Ensemble, Virgil Abloh (American, born 1980) for Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh (Italian, founded 2013), pre-fall 2018
Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Johnny Dufort, 2018 Ensemble, by Virgil Abloh, for Off-White. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Johnny Dufort, 2018

Camp: Notes on Fashion
May 9–September 8
Inspired by writer Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp, The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition explores the origins of the camp aesthetic featuring nearly 200 objects; womenswear and menswear, sculptures, paintings and drawings from the 17th century to the present.

Eugene Gordon, ACT UP activists at Pride March, 1988. New-York Historical Society Library Eugene Gordon, ACT UP activists at Pride March, 1988. New-York Historical Society Library

Stonewall 50 at New-York Historical Society
May 24–September 22
Letting Loose and Fighting Back explores the history of LGBTQ+ nightlife in NYC. By the Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives examines lesbian lives pre- and post-Stonewall. Say It Loud, Out and Proud has imagery from five decades of Pride marches.

Installation view of Scenes from the Collection. “Personas” on view through July 7, 2019. The Jewish Museum, NY.
Photo by: Jason Mandella Installation view of Scenes from the Collection, The Jewish Museum. Photo by: Jason Mandella

Stonewall 50 at the Jewish Museum: Programs on Queer Art and Artists
May 30–June 21
The Jewish Museum pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. On May 30, writer Adam Eli discusses the intersection of queer identity and Jewish culture by drawing on pieces from the museum’s own collection. On June 21, Chris Gartrell explores how queerness is represented in painting.

Pride: Photographs of Stonewall and Beyond by Fred W. McDarrah
June 6–November 30
Examine NYC through the lens of photographer Fred W. McDarrah, who created an encyclopedic archive of culture and politics for The Village Voice. The works runs from the Beats of the 1950s through the counterculture of the ’60s to the Stonewall Uprising and major political events of the early 1970s.

Walt Whitman: Bard of Democracy
June 7–September 15
Experience Whitman’s writing that earned him a global audience, including “O Captain! My Captain!” Additionally, view documents from Oscar Wilde, Hart Crane, Federico García Lorca and Allen Ginsberg that trace the Whitman’s influence on the 20th century.

OutCinema
June 17–19
In partnership with NewFest and the SVA Theatre, OutCinema celebrates Pride with screenings of films about the LGBTQ+ community. Held in Chelsea, this mini-festival features three days of films and special events.

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