Past Events

Queer British Art 1861-1967

Lecture – Clare Barlow, Eleanor Jones

  • 7 June 2017
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Lecture Room, Paul Mellon Centre

Queer British Art 1861-1967 (Tate Britain, 5 April - 1 October 2017) is first exhibition dedicated to queer British art. It explores the relationship between the arts, sexuality and gender identity from 1861, when the death penalty was abolished for buggery, to 1867, the year of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. The objects and artworks on display have diverse connections to queer experiences, cultures and perspectives across this period and the show encompasses a wide range of different media. Objects on display include, for example, Evelyn De Morgan's Aurora Triumphans; David Hockney's Life Painting For a Diploma; the door of Oscar Wilde's prison cell and a wig from a female impersonation act of the 1920s. In this lecture, curator Clare Barlow and PhD student Eleanor Jones will discuss their approaches to this eclectic material and consider some of the questions arising out of this ground-breaking exhibition.

Two women in period dress canoodling on a bench

Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene, Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene, 1864

Digital image courtesy of Tate

About the speakers

  • Clare_Barlow HEADSHOT

    Clare Barlow is curator of the 2017 exhibition Queer British Art at Tate Britain, marking fifty years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. She is Assistant Curator, British Art 1750-1830 at Tate Britain and joined Tate from the National Portrait Gallery, where she was Assistant Curator for the 18th and 20th Centuries. She has a longstanding research in sexuality and gender in art and completed her PhD on the visual culture of eighteenth century female authorship in 2010.

  • DSC_3692

    Ellie Jones is a second-year PhD student at King’s College London and Tate. Her thesis centres on perceptions of queerness and race in early twentieth century British art, with a focus on painters Duncan Grant and Edward Burra, photographers Barbara Ker-Seymer and Angus McBean, and performers such as Berto Pasuka and Richie Riley. In 2016, Eleanor completed a research fellowship at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT, and she has worked as a curatorial assistant on the forthcoming exhibition Queer British Art at Tate Britain.