Speak its Name!

9 September - 29 October 2017

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

  • Partnership exhibition

Speak its Name! is a partnership display between the National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent. In the 50th anniversary year of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales, the display marks the celebration of this significant step on the road to equal rights for LGBTQ people.

The display is based on the National Portrait Gallery’s new publication Speak its Name! Quotations by and about gay men and women, edited by Christopher Tinker and with an introduction by Simon Callow. The title of the book and the display is derived from ‘I am the Love that dare not speak its name’, the last line of a poem by Lord Alfred Douglas that was quoted as evidence of ‘gross indecency’ at the trial of his lover Oscar Wilde in 1895.

This selection of portraits from the Gallery’s Collection has a particular resonance at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, a National Trust property whose history has been shaped and enriched by people who challenged conventional ideas of gender and sexuality.

This display can be seen from 9 September to 29 October 2017 at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, the former home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson.


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