By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com June 01 2012 8:41 PM ET
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City has received gifts totaling more than $10 million, the largest donation ever made to an LGBT arts organization, museum officials say.
Charles W. Leslie made a contribution of $8.8 million worth of stock in a New York real estate corporation in memory of his longtime partner, J. Frederic "Fritz" Lohman, with whom he founded the museum’s predecessor organization, the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation. Substantial ongoing distributions from this gift will support the museum. Other recent gifts include $1.5 million from the estate of Marion Pinto, an artist who has long been a benefactor of the organization.
“Charles Leslie is one of the few individuals in New York with both the capacity, and the political will, to rectify the silence around gay/lesbian art and artists in New York’s major museums, by setting up our own gay and lesbian art museum,” said Jonathan D. Katz, president of the museum’s board of directors, in a press release announcing the donations. “We’re excited to be presenting exhibitions that finally acknowledge important artists like Paul Thek fully in the round, and this major gift will enable us to continue to exhibit high-quality shows for a long time to come.”
The Leslie-Lohman Museum is the first and only dedicated gay and lesbian art museum in the world. It has a permanent collection of more than 6,000 objects spanning more than three centuries of gay and lesbian art. Its programs include six to eight major exhibitions a year, film screenings, plays, poetry readings, artist and curator talks, panel discussions, a quarterly newsletter focusing on gay and lesbian art and artists, a membership program, a research library, and an archive of the permanent collection.