When the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, few would have predicted that the night’s events would change the course of American history. Fifty years later, the mainstreaming of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans identity; the recognition of HIV/AIDS as a public health emergency; the opening of popular culture to queer stories and perspectives; the growing acceptance of gender self-determination; and above all, the 2015 Supreme Court decision on marriage equality are among the many achievements of the post-Stonewall gay liberation movement. Yet the legacy of Stonewall is not limited to these milestones, and remains ongoing and open-ended. Queer people of color and trans communities continue to struggle against social and political marginalization, and poor and working-class voices remain underrepresented in mainstream LGBTQ politics and culture. In spite of its many successes, the movement for queer liberation has lost none of its urgency a half-century later.
© Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 by Jonathan Weinberg, with Tyler Cann, Anastasia Kinigopoulo, and Drew Sawyer, Rizzoli Electa, 2019. See more and order the book at Rizzoli Books.
Spanning the two decades between Stonewall and the AIDS crisis, Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 celebrates the passion, inventiveness, and fierce solidarity of the first generation of “out” artists and activists. Published in conjunction with the Columbus Museum of Art to coincide with the opening of an exhibition of the same name, this groundbreaking volume stands as a visual history of twenty years in American queer life revealing the impact of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights movement on the art world.
Written by noted artist, author, and art historian Jonathan Weinberg and spotlighting more than 200 works, the book focuses on openly LGBTQ artists like Nan Goldin, Harmony Hammond, Lyle Ashton Harris, Greer Lankton, Glenn Ligon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, and Andy Warhol, as well as the practices of such artists as Diane Arbus, Adrian Piper, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Barkley Hendricks in terms of their engagement with queer subcultures and activism.
With essays by distinguished art historians and cultural critics including Anna Conlan, Andrew Durbin, Jonathan Katz, Alpesh Patel, Christopher Reed, and Margaret Vendryes, Art After Stonewall sheds new light upon a diverse array of artworks, including performance, photographs, painting, sculpture, film, and music with images taken from magazines, newspapers, and television. Together, the book and exhibition clearly demonstrate how the ideas unleashed by queer liberation empowered generations.
About the Authors: Jonathan Weinberg is an artist, art historian, and author of Male Desire: The Homoerotic in American Art and Ambition and Love in American Art and Pier Groups: Art and Sex Along the New York Waterfront. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Weinberg teaches at the Yale School of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design. Tyler Cann is Head of Exhibitions and Pizzuti Curator of Contemporary Art at the Columbus Museum of Art. Anastasia Kinigopoulo is a Lois F. McNeil Fellow in the American Material Culture graduate program at the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Drew Sawyer is the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography at the Brooklyn Museum.