In October 2016, the world’s an initial and only museum concentrated on LGBTQ art, the Leslie-Lohman Museum the Gay and Lesbian arts in Soho shutdown for a six-month renovation. As soon as it reopened in in march this year, the museum had practically doubled in size. The development was very first announced in respectable 2015, and was made possible when an surrounding storefront opened up. For the museum, it to be the perfect possibility to increase their mission.

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“Now much more than ever the LGBTQ community needs a ar to come together and also be empowered by artists and also their work,” gunzo Casals, the manager of the museum, called

Casals was specifically referring come the trumped administration’s health treatment plan and also how the would influence the transgender community, and how the management has already rolled back protections that were in ar for the transgender community.

The museum’s expansion is also symbolic in that the museum transforms 30 this year. The earliest version of the museum to be birthed in the Soho loft that its two co-founders, Charles Leslie, and Fritz Lohman in 1969. The couple wanted to administer a an are for happy artists to showcase their work, and their weekend exhibitions easily started attracting numerous attendees.

once the AIDS epidemic hit in the 1980s, Leslie and Lohman observed that the family members of gay artists who lost their lives to the condition were trying to destroy or discard their artwork, therefore the pair made a concerted effort to preserve this work.

In 1987, the couple founded the Leslie/Lohman Gay art Foundation, Inc and ran it from a gallery on Prince Street. That wasn’t until 2011 that brand-new York State plank of Regents officially asserted the structure a museum. This particular day the museum is situated out the a lot larger space located in ~ 26 Wooster Street.

A large part of the expansion was likewise necessitated by the truth there to be a greater demand to showcase the work of new artists and also their present collection. The museum hosts about six to eight significant shows annually but would be compelled to shut under in in between the shows to prepare because that the next one.

Now the museum has actually a new committed exhibition room that will certainly also enable them to far better circulate their existing materials: the museum has actually a repertoire of over 30,000 objects. In addition, this expansion likewise saw the production of a brand-new book and gift shop, and also improved warehouse areas.

previously this month, the museum introduced a brand-new initiative: QUEERPOWER. Each year the museum plans to commission an artist or a group of artist to develop artwork for the facade, which works as “an intersection that art and also social justice,” follow to Casals.

For the inaugural year, the museum picked Silence=Death Collective, whose occupational was the motivation behind the pink triangle ACT increase poster that came to be prevalent during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. In the artwork they’ve developed for Leslie-Lohman’s facade, they’ve reorganized the facets of the poster to attend to the worries faced through the LGBTQ ar today. The facade to be unveiled earlier this month come commemorate the one-year anniversary that the Pulse nightclub shoot in Orlando, Florida.

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“We again are encountering dangerous times that may very well imperil the resides of the entire LGBTQ community,” Charles Kresloff, among the starting members that the collective, said in a statement. “On the 30th anniversary that the Silence=Death poster, the cumulative feels it’s time come speak increase again. Resistance come in forms and also now more than ever we can not sit ago and think that we’re safe.”

Since their opening in March, Casals claims the museum has received a remarkable amount of support and appreciation. In renovating the museum, the team likewise placed a solid emphasis ~ above not simply representing white gay masculine perspectives, but likewise people of other ethnicities and gender expressions, and also that’s what the museum really hopes to do more of walk forward.