By Christopher Harrity
When the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, few would have predicted that the night’s events would change the course of American history. Fifty years later, the mainstreaming of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans identity; the recognition of HIV/AIDS as a public health emergency; the opening of popular culture to queer stories and perspectives; the growing acceptance of gender self-determination; and above all, the 2015 Supreme Court decision on marriage equality are among the many achievements of the post-Stonewall gay liberation movement. Yet the legacy of Stonewall is not limited to these milestones, and remains ongoing and open-ended.
Spanning the two decades between Stonewall and the AIDS crisis, Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 celebrates the passion, inventiveness, and fierce solidarity of the first generation of “out” artists and activists. Published in conjunction with the Columbus Museum of Art to coincide with the opening of an exhibition of the same name, this groundbreaking volume stands as a visual history of twenty years in American queer life revealing the impact of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights movement on the art world.