Leslie Lohman Museum



Event Talk

March 16, 6:30 pm


Finding Berenice Abbott: A Private Lesbian Life

Julia Van Haaften

Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) is best known for her dynamic 1930s cityscapes, Changing New York. As a lesbian and feminist, Abbott found community within the small worlds of Greenwich Village and Montparnasse before discovering a similar freedom in Maine. She listed as an Artist in the 1920 US Census and hung around Man Ray and Djuna Barnes. As she matured in Paris and the US, the once “crazy kid” became productive, but never fashionable or accommodating. To Abbott’s detriment, her prickly temperament was, in her view, irrelevant to her creativity—inalterable yet inconsequential like her flat Midwestern speech or her same-sex affinity.

Above all, she wanted to be remembered as a “self-taught risk taker.” Abbott’s oversize B/W prints are now ubiquitous; their very impersonality a hallmark. Yet she held that because “reality” is the subject, a photographer couldn’t help “equating the objective world with his self.” Her biography lies in the creative tension between this belief and its expression, and is mirrored in her long, contradictory life.

Julia Van Haaften is the author of the biography of American documentary modernist photographer, Berenice Abbott, forthcoming from W. W. Norton, early 2018. This talk is co-sponored by the Robert Giard Foundation and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

Event Book Launch and Painting Unveiling

March 23, 6 pm


Sonia Melara



Charles Leslie, co- founder of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, unveils two epic painting by Sonia Melara.

Charles Leslie will share the story behind his latest commission, which illustrates the ancient Sumerian love story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The evening will be topped off by Sonia Melara, signing her newly published catalogue raisonne. Drinks and Middle Eastern hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Event Speaker Series
Chris Bogia

March 30, 6:30 pm


The Leslie-Lohman Speakers Series will resume its third season with Fire Island Artist Residency Co-Founder and Director, Chris Bogia, and a panel of FIAR alum


SPACE IS LIMITED: Please reserve your free ticket here.

Chris Bogia is the Co-Founder and Director of Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), the first LGBTQ artist residency in the world, located in Cherry Grove, on Fire Island, NY. A visual artisit and instructor of sculpture at New York University, Bogia will share personal work and describe his inspiration and leadership behind the Fire Island Artist Residency. Bogia will be joined by FIAR alum:

Travis Boyer (2011) favors socio-kinetic art and generative group activities and is motivated by an interest in the visual and tactile potential of textiles, as well as the intimacy and sensuality of fabrics.

Kris Grey (2012) is a gender queer artist whose work combines strategies of communication, activism, community building, education, lecture, and studio production. KristinGrey.com

Babirye Leilah Burns Sculptor (2015) is a visual artist specializing in abstract sculpture utilizing wood, scrap metal and found objects. She deals with subjects including human rights and gay issues in Uganda, exploring political, social and economic topics.

Jesse Harrod (2016) makes work that employs traditional and contemporary craft practices focused on craft as a shadow category of art production to traditional or mainstream fine art. She is interested in how a "hobbyist" or "bad taste" aesthetic may relate to queer identity, as well as to second and third wave feminist thought. JesseHarrod.com


This series opens space for critical dialogue between artists, curators, and the general public through lectures and panels. These events explore the role of LGBTQ issues in art making and situate the Museum as a platform for contemporary cultural discourse and education. Speakers Series lectures are free and open to the public and start at 6:30 unless otherwise noted.

Funding for this series has been received in part from the generous support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and educational grants from the Arcus Foundation and the Keith Haring Foundation.


Schedule and dates are subject to change. Please check back often for updated information.

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