Zoom Event: LGBTQ Tour of London’s National Portrait Galley
Explore the UK’s rich LGBTQ history through the NPG’s collections with Professor Andrew Lear on the fun and interesting 75 minute Zoom tour!
London’s National Portrait Gallery is truly one of the world’s gayest museums. Years ago (just to give you an idea), the permanent collection started with a statue of King Edward II (a medieval monarch murdered by his barons over his generosity to his “favorites”) and ended with Sir Ian McKellen. At that time, I called this talk, “England, from gay to shining gay.” The order of the collection has changed—and will change more as the museum is closed for a massive renovation—but the point remains: a walk through this museum’s collection is a great way to explore the UK’s rich and complex LGBTQ history.On this fun and interesting Zoom talk, we will examine:
The most authoritative portrait of Shakespeare
George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham—James I’s final “favorite”
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, the great poet/rake (played by Johnny Depp)
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, Queen Anne’s favorite (played by Rachel Weisz)
The Chevalier d’Eon, 18th century French diplomat and trans celeb
George Lord Byron, bisexual sex addict
Richard Francis Burton, translator of the Arabian Nights and early sexuality theorist
Aubrey Beardsley, illustrator of Oscar Wilde’s Salome and….asexual?
Radclyffe Hall, lesbian and gender-queer author of The Well of Loneliness
Violet Trefusis, the Russian princess Sasha in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando
Lytton Strachey, eminent biographer and Bloomsburyite
Gluck, gender-queer designer and artist of the 1930s
Benjamin Britten and his partner and muse Peter Pears
And much more!
This tour will last 75 minutes (with Q&A), but by the end, you will never think of the British as dull and sexless (or straight!) again!