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LGBTQ+ History Month

For this year’s LGBTQ+ History Month, we are celebrating key figures from our Collection. We’ll be continuing to share new content here throughout February, including a collaboration with the National Youth Theatre as well as a blog looking at the impact of drag on art. 

In-conversation with LGBTQ+ trailblazers

This year is 50 years since the first Pride event in the UK and, to mark this, presenter Jamie Windust sat down in our archives with three LGBTQ+ icons to reflect on what Pride means to them.

Travis Alabanza
 

Flo Perry
 

Peter Tatchell
 

Virtual Tour

From Olympic athletes to aristocrats, our staff have shared their favourite LGBTQ+ sitters from our Collection.

Poetry inspired by our Collection

"In collaboration with visual art, poetry can become its voice. The National Portrait Gallery and the National Youth Theatre asked three NYT members to perform poems inspired by a portrait in NPG's Collection, lending their voice to these LGBTQ+ sitters and intertwining generations. Queer existence is radical; we deserve to be both seen and heard, and to bring our stories to life." - Nay Murphy, National Youth Theatre Member

We will be sharing a new poem created and performed by an NYT Member each week. Explore the poems below:

Dissolve The Gold by Jade O'Shaughnessy

Jade's poem is inspired by our portrait of mathematician Alan Turing, with her asking: if Turing was alive today, how would we apologise? Performed at the National Youth Theatre, Jade's poem explores Turing's life beyond simply being a historical figure.

 

Gluck by Alexander Da Fonseca

Watch Alexander Da Fonseca perform their poem inspired by artist Gluck, a 20th century painter who wished only to be known as Gluck, "no prefix, suffix, or quote.” Alexander describes how they took inspiration from Gluck, who is “proof that gender has infinite variety because it’s a form of expression, and Gluck’s work is allowed to embody that."

 

Why I Can't Sleep on Nights I Think About James Baldwin by Hart Fargo

In this final film, poet Hart Fargo takes inspiration from writer James Baldwin, with Hart telling us, "I am because James Baldwin was." He celebrates, “the humanity of James Baldwin the person, who loved, who feared, who smiled”, with Hart fearing that this side to him has been lost over time.

 

Express yourself with Sketch Appeal!

Join us on Instagram live

JSketch Appeal logo

19:00-19:30, 24 February

Join Sketch Appeal for a 30 minute sketching workshop on Instagram Live. From the comfort of your sofa, take part in some playful self-portraiture inspired by some of the portraits of LGBTQ+ sitters in our Collection.

The session will be led by Sketch Appeal Founder Dulcie Ball and Facilitator Lee HD – both self-taught Artists and passionate imperfectionists who draw for the joy of it! After a brief introductory chat they will guide you through a series of fun and easy self-portrait challenges designed to silence your inner critic and set your creativity free! Bring some paper, something (ideally coloured pens/pencils) to draw with and a mirror, or a photo of yourself

Join us on Instagram live

Spotlight: LGBTQ+ Icons

Read the blog

As part of LGBTQ+ History Month, our Youth Forum delved into our Collection to explore the LGBTQ+ sitters that particularly inspire them. From artists to activists, discover the incredible portraits that they’ve selected, and the connections that they have found within the works.

Explore the selection

Highlights from the Gallery

Looking to the Collection with Mohsin Zaidi

Read the blog

“Portraits are not just images, they are stories. Heart-breaking and triumphant, colourful and grey.”

This LGBTQ+ month, Mohsin Zaidi, barrister and author of A Dutiful Boy, celebrates portraits of queer icons of colour in our collection.

Read the blog

 

LGBT+ History Month T-Shirts

Order exclusive t-shirts from our online shop

Exclusive t-shirts of your favourite LGBTQ+ sitters from the NPG collection, made from 100% organic cotton and printed to order.

Order now

 

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Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story