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Monday, 27 August 2018 21:38

"Brave, Beautiful Outlaws": an intimate exhibition on lesbian photographer Donna Gottschalk

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Donna Gottschalk


From August 29, 2018 to March 17, 2019, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York will open an exhibition dedicated to lesbian photographer Donna Gottschalk.

Donna Gottschalk (photo 1 and 2) grew up in a very poor family in Lower East Side, New York in the '50s-'60s.

At 14, she understands she's lesbian and at 18, she joins the Gay Liberation Front, a political organization. She is also the creator of this emblematic and now very famous poster "Lesbians Unite!".

She participated in queer and gay radical organizations in New York. In the 1970s, she moved to Washington with her girlfriend Joan Biren and took photographs for radical feminist publications. At the time, only a few pictures of this talented photographer were published.

A year later, she arrives in San Francisco and joins a community of lesbian separatists who is gaining more and more importance.

In the mid-1970s, she returned to New York to help her sister and brother.

Today, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art pays tribute to her. We discover many personal and intimate photos. Donna's pictures evoke this nascent and very intense queer activism of the '70s. She exposed loved ones and queer rebels of that time.

Gottschalk flattened no boarder

Deborah Bright, the curator of the exhibition, said, “Donna Gottschalk is the most famous lesbian photographer you’ve never heard of — until now.”

Through the exhibition "Brave, Beautiful Outlaws", the goal is to highlight her work, especially her first shots that document the beginning of queer activism in New York and California.

She also followed the life of her gay brother and her transition into a woman.

Bright describes Donna as a “talented and sensitive visual storyteller,” whose work is a “vital contribution to the historical record.”

"For over forty years I kept my negatives and photographs largely to myself, not wanting to subject them to the possibility of painful scrutiny or judgment of others,” Donna Gottschalk says. “Many of the people I photographed didn’t get much sympathy in the world, and I wanted to make viewers stop and really look at them and not pass them by.”

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That's why I recommend this exhibition. Entitled "Brave, Beautiful Outlaws," it starts on August 29, 2018 and will continue until March 17, 2019 at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York.

The opening reception will take place on September 29 from 4 pm to 6 pm with photographer Donna Gottschalk.

For more information,


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