Stonewall National Museum & Archives


2020 – 2021 Exhibition Schedule


Founded in 1988 in Lost Angeles, BLK – The National Black Lesbian and Gay News Magazine sought “first and foremost,” to be the magazine that “covered the African-American lesbian and gay communities in the United States.” First printed in newsprint, later it was a full-color glossy magazine until the end of its run in 1994. It featured news stories and interviews as well as articles and columns on sports, events, musuc, AIDS, film, literature and politics. Personal ads were also included.


For more than twenty years, ArtsUnited has served the need of local LGBTQ artists for an interactive and supportive working environment. They showcase work in all genres, including visual art, music, theatre, film and fashion.

This exhibition will focus on recent works by ArtsUnited members.


A look at the first LGBTQ organizations from the mid-20th century through their publications, newsletters and internal communications.



Correspondence between LGBTQ friends, family and lovers.

Contained within our Archives of the personal papers of many people from South Florida.  Within those papers are notes and communications between partners, family members and friends.  Some of those papers date back to the middle of the 20th century.

In this exhibition, we will exhibit and explore this correspondence and examine how these individuals communicated with each other, terms and language they used, along with coding and hidden meanings within the correspondence.  It will provide an opportunity for today’s generation to reflect on their own communication about their sexual orientation through the words, notes and interactions of another generation.

Letters of well-known LGBTQ individuals which can be found in our library will also be used in this exhibition.


Although gay men and lesbians have lived together in partnership for many years, (i.e., The Boston Marriage), during the last half of the 20th century, such domestic relationships became more common.  From the ‘70s to the ‘90s it was not at all uncommon for a gay LGBTQ couple to live together under one roof, even though they could not legally be married and often had to tell family, friends, co-workers that the other person was a “roommate.”

In this exhibition, we will explore the degrees to which LGBTQ people adopted a domestic life, both similar and vastly different than heterosexual couples.  The exhibition will look at both actual relationships and those found in gay and lesbian fiction of the time as in many cases fiction is the only written record of gay relationships from the time.


Started in 1977, and based in Los Angeles, Chrysalis was a quarterly magazine which sought to be “uncompromising (through pluralist) in its feminist; serious, yet without the jargon and tendentiousness of academic journals; entertaining and accessible.”  Printed on quality stock and perfect bound, early editors included Audre Lorde, Judy Chicago, Linda Nochlin, Adrienne Rich and many other female writers and artists of the time.

Begun at the same time and originating in Michigan, Lesbian Connection was a grass roots publication (photocopied, typewritten pages) which sought to provide connection between lesbians, whether in their hometown or across the country.  They offered news on local events, support groups, book reviews, as well as political news relating to issues such as adoption, equality, personal safety and advocacy.

In this exhibition, we will explore how these two publications fed the desire to find a community which supported their efforts to find equality and acceptance.


“Don’t ask, don’t tell” was the official US policy on military service by gays, bisexuals, and lesbians, instituted by the Clinton Administration on February 28, 1994, when Department of Defense Directive 1304.26 issued on December 21, 1993, took effect, lasting until September 20, 2011.

Drawing upon materials from SNMA’s Archives, this exhibition will explore the LGBTQ community’s response to the controversial policy before, during and after the seventeen years it was in effect.


John Klamik, aka “Shawn” and “Sean” (1935-2005) was from Illinois and trained as an artist and illustrator at the Art Institute of Chicago. At age 26, he moved to West Hollywood and became part of the gay culture there for the last quarter of the 20th century.

It is estimated that Klamik made more than 10,000 illustrations during his lifetime.  They were used to illustrate gay pride marches, bars, restaurants and greeting cards, as well as cartoons.  He was an active illustrator for many mainstream publications, as well as gay publications from the United States and France.

SNMA has an extensive trove Klamik’s records and artwork.  This exhibition will present the original drawings, many of which have never been publicly exhibited.



Objects, papers, serials and findings that caught the eye and imagination of newly installed Executive Director Hunter O’Hanian upon his arrival at SNMA.



As of the 2019, no woman has been elected president of the United States. 

However, since the 1970s there have been many women elected to public office, including many out lesbians.  In 2018, the largest number of women were elected to both local, state and national office.

This exhibition looks at the careers of nine lesbian elected public officials, through the eyes of the gay press from around the country, found in SNMA’s Archives.  We explore the challenges and opportunities these public officials faced.  

Featured public officials will include: Nancy Weschler (Ann Arbor 1972), Elaine Noble (Massachusetts 1974), Karen Clark (Minnesota 1981), Deborah Glick (New York 1990), Joanne Conte (Colorado 1991), Liz Stefanics (New Mexico 1992),  Gail Shibley (Oregon 1991), Althea Garrison (Massachusetts 1993) and Cheryl Jacques (Massachusetts 1993).


Located in Manhattan’s East Village, from 1980 to 1987, the Saint was a disco and performance venue, second to none in NYC.  It was the epicenter for gay nightlife, featuring the best disco dance music, sound system and DJs.  Additionally, it featured many live performers, including: Betty Buckley, Natalie Cole, Debbie Harry, Jennifer Holliday, Eartha Kitt, Patti LuPone, Maureen McGovern, Pet Shop Boys, Chita Rivera Sylvester, Luther Vandross, Sarah Vaughn and many others.  Posters, graphics and other materials from the Saint will be on display.



Joel Starkey (2/1/46 – 1/4/92) was the founder of The Southern Gay Archives (which later merged with the SNMA). Using papers and items from our Archives, we will explore the life an individual who was a gay publisher; AIDS activist (who was among the first to sue his insurance

company for failure to provide medication); feminist (early member of the National Organization for Women); correspondent/advocate for incarcerated LGBTQ individuals; and collector of socialist publications.


Accepted by some societies, shunned by others, same sex attraction has had a rocky relationship with established civilizations throughout the centuries and around the globe. While the subject is evidenced in writings dating back to 1700 BCE and can be found in ancient Egyptian scrolls and Greek and Roman tiles; from the Warren Cup (ca. AD 5-15?) and Albrecht Durer’s The Men’s Bath House (ca. 1496) to Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums in the 17th century, same sex desire made only a scant appearance in the cannons of art history for centuries.

Looking at the work of Thomas Eakins to the present day, this exhibition presents the work and lives of gay, lesbian and transgender artists from the late 19th century to the present. Particular focus is placed on American artists, some who worked within the established art and academic communities as well as others who were critically marginalized.

Mon-Fri 11 am - 6 pm     Sat 10 am - 4 pm     Closed Sun