June 28 – July 1, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall uprising. The uprising, a series of violent demonstrations, was a spontaneous moment of courageous activism by members of the LGBTQ+ community against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States and around the world. To recognize and commemorate this historic moment, Susquehanna Art Museum partnered with the LGBT Center of Central PA and Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections to open the LGBTQ+ history project collection to artists and creators. The collection documents the stories and history of LGBTQ+ life and activism in Central PA.
Susquehanna Art Museum’s 2019 juried exhibition provided an opportunity for artists to visit the collection at the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections. Artists were tasked with creating original works of art inspired by the items in the collection. Works selected for this exhibition provide a contemporary reflection on a pivotal moment in American LGBTQ+ history.
Vote for Viewer’s Choice Prize by August 15! Prize winner will be announced during August 16, Third in the Burg.
Plan Your Visit
Location: Lobby Gallery and DeSoto Family Vault
Duration: May 10 – August 18, 2019
Exhibiting Artists: Reference List Below
Sponsored by: Ross Kanenson and Marcy Kanenson in memory of their Mother, Marilynn R. Kanenson.
Artists have taken inspiration from historical figures, places, events, and stories in creating their own interpretation of history and its meaning in contemporary life. But some history is more hidden, undiscovered or overlooked. Such is the case with the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) community. It is a community that gained prominence in the early twentieth century and grown into a modern social and political movement seeking equal rights.
While greater attention has been given to LGBTQ+ history in large cities, smaller cities and rural parts of the country are emerging as sources of important contributions to the national story of the LGBTQ+ community. The history of central Pennsylvania reveals LGBTQ+ leaders and activists who sacrificed to advance civil rights and create a better life for this community in the context of a more conservative culture.
The LGBT Center of Central PA History Project, founded in 2012, engages people in discovering, documenting, collecting, preserving and presenting the history of the LGBTQ+ community in central PA through oral history and material culture. The LGBT Center of Central PA partners with the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections, which serves as the repository of this collection.
Colleges and universities now include LGBTQ+ history in their curriculum. Archives, museums and historical organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of collecting and studying the history of this community. This year, people around the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn bar raid and riots in New York City as a pivotal moment in the movement for LGBTQ+ civil rights.
To celebrate this important anniversary in LGBTQ+ history, The LGBT Center of Central PA History Project is partnering with the Susquehanna Art Museum and the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections to challenge artists in all media to be inspired by this history. Using artifacts, historic photographs, documents, oral history recordings, or general themes or stories that evolve from these collections, artists interpreted this history through their unique talents of creative expression. Their artworks explore the full range of the LGBTQ+ experience. In addition to exhibiting these artistic works, this exhibition includes artifacts from the History Project collection, many of which served as direct inspiration to the artists.
– Barry Loveland, Chair of the LGBT Center of Central PA History Project
Chair of the LGBT Center of Central PA History Project
Director of Exhibitions, Susquehanna Art Museum