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Queer Art: Past and Present: Representing the Nation to Itself: Queer American Art from late 19th century to Stonewall 

As part of the Found in Translation series funded by the PA Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities, Fleisher Art Memorial and William Way are proud to present Queer Art: Past and Present, a series of lectures exploring Queer art histories and contemporary practices and aesthetics through the voices of five renowned art historians and artists. The lecture series will take place on Zoom and live Spanish interpretation will be provided.  

Found in Translation is a free series of art history and critical theory workshops organized by Fleisher in partnership with several cultural institutions throughout Philadelphia. The series specifically focuses on centering BIPOC and Queer voices, reflecting a more inclusive view of the communities we work with. Found in Translation, aligned with Fleisher’s mission of making art more accessible through our education and community programs, brings these valuable perspectives to a broader public. 

This heavily illustrated talk will demonstrate that the history of American art and the history of sexuality traveled a parallel course for over a century. Beginning with the work of Harriet Hosmer through such defining figures as Thomas Eakins, Charles Demuth, Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Agnes Martin, and Andy Warhol, Jonathan Katz outlines how it was queer artists who represented the US to itself.  

Jonathan D. Katz is an art historian, curator and queer activist. Currently an Associate Professor of Practice in the History of Art and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Katz is a pioneering figure in the development of a queer art history, and author of a number of books and articles.  As a scholar of modern and contemporary art, Katz is responsible for many of the first queer studies of such defining artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jasper Johns, Leon Polk Smith, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Hamilton, Yayoi Kusama, Cy Twombly, Agnes Martin, Robert Indiana, and a number of others. Katz is now completing two new books, Hiding in Plain Sight: On the Queerness of Contemporary Art and The Silent Camp: Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and the Cold War. He is also editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Queer Art History. 

About William Way 

William Way seeks to engage and support the diverse LGBTQIA+ communities in the greater Philadelphia area through arts & culture, empowerment, and community connections. They want all LGBTQIA+ people to feel safe, connected, and empowered, striving to be a community center whose staff, management, and board reflect the vibrant and richly diverse communities they serve. In these challenging times, the William Way LGBT Community Center, and what it represents, has evolved to meet the needs of the diverse people it serves 365 days a year. Learn more at www.waygay.org. 

Register via Eventbrite.

Image: Ana Teresa Fernandez, Ice Queen, 2011, digital still from 45-minute performance. Image courtesy of Alpesh Kantilal Patel.