EXHIBITION - If you are going on a city trip to London in the coming months, be sure to visit the British Museum.
Until 15 October 2017, in one of the rooms in this museum, there is a mini exhibition 'Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories'. Although the exhibition is not very big, it shows great things.
In the exposition you will discover how LGBT people and queers lived throughout history and what experiences they had. The exhibition shows objects from all over the world, from ancient civilizations until today. All objects have some LGBTQ connection, either because the creator was LGBT or queer, either because they were displayed on the item.
Discover among other things a piece of a painting of around 490 BC. at the time of the Etruscans. This piece was once part of a larger 19th century painted canvas print of an Etruscan painting from a tomb in Italy. Later it was cut out of the big canvas and it came to a museum. The rest of the painting has been lost. On the painting you will see two men hugging and kissing each other.
From the recent history you can find a whole collection of badges that were worn to support LGBTQ people. They come from a collection that shows more than 50 years of campaign. Among other things, a 1978 pride badge and badges to combat AIDS and the stigma by AIDS.
Deck of cards of drag queens
A deck of cards with a very limited edition from Japan shows drag queens from Japan and perhaps the most exceptional in this exhibition is a small statue of 9000 BC. from Palestine. This is the earliest known image of a couple making love. Usually it is assumed that it would be a man and woman, but their gender is ambiguous. “Why should we assume that the lovers must be heterosexual?” can you read on the explanation at the little statue.
And of course there is more to discover. You will be surprised how much art historical treasures and information you can find in the small exhibition space. If you have time left by the museum, you will discover a lot more items related to LGBTQ. The objects are labeled with a small sticker. A handy list of all the other items and where they are located in the museum can be found at the infodesk.
A Little Gay History
The exhibition is based on the book "A Little Gay History - Desire and Diversity Across the World" by Richard B. Parkinson, Professor of Egyptology at Oxfort University, and was also advised by him.
Text & pictures: T. Hanan S.
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