Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gay male art galleries & museums : the Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art (MoGLA)

Today, male sculptures with a homoerotic/gay angle, and sculptures expressing male love, can also be seen in specialized art galleries and museums, either permanently or during specific shows and exhibitions, at least in USA and Europe, as we will see in some future posts.
Below contemporary male torso for example, has been done on marble by the American self-taught sculptor Douglas Holtquist, who is also an expert in the Ikebana art! (Japanese flower composition).
Holtquist work was displayed in the Spring 2008 edition of The Archive, which is the rich & interesting quarterly journal of the MoGLA.  MoGLA stands for Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, the successful and patient tranformation of the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation.

Douglas Holtquist - Male torso - Picture from Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation -The Archive Spring 2008

Cover of the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation Spring 2008 edition of The Archive 
The first time I entered the Leslie-Lohman gay art foundation in New York (as it was called at that time, before to be transformed into the Mogla), was in the early 90's, twenty years ago, so well before I started sculpting. I was thrilled, as a young European man, to enter with my boyfriend in that building basement on Prince Street, to see so many drawings, paintings, watercolors, all gathered in one place, available to see, without commercial pressure and with such a gracious host.

We bought a very nice watercolor from Mc Willie Chambers that is still at our home today. We went back another year, still at their same initial location, and we bought another piece, from William Ronin, New York artist born in 1903.

In 2006, the foundation moved to a nice ground floor location on 26, Wooster Street (SoHo area). And has been transformed into the first Museum dedicated to Gay & Lesbian Art, officially recognized by the New York city.


The MoGLA main objective is to put together and exhibit art created by gay artists or art about gay world in general. The museum was created to provide a space for art that is clearly gay and frequently denied access to regular galleries, and regular exhinitions are programmed. This is facilitated by their impressive collection of 22000 paintings, drawings, photographies, prints and sculptures. Famous artists are part of it, like Andy Warhol, George Platt Lynes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jean Cocteau etc.
The 2 L in the above logo come from Frederic "Fritz" Lohman and Charles W. Leslie. They collected art for many years, organized their first exhibition of gay art in their loft in 1969 to help artist's friends lacking a space to display their work. This was a big success. Then they opened their art gallery, which closed in the 1980s because of aids affecting many of these artists and gay customers. Their foundation was created in 1989.
Click on their website if you want to know more, visit them, etc.