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It’s late June 1969, and the young people clustered on Christopher Street look giddy, some performing, others a bit shy before the camera. Neither they nor Fred McDarrah, the Village Voice photographer who shot Celebration After Riots Outside Stonewall Inn (1969), could have known that the riots—the spontaneous result of a few Stonewall patrons deciding to disrupt “business as usual” during a routine shakedown of the Greenwich Village bar—would come to be seen as having sparked a revolution in the gay rights movement, but that spark seems to light their bodies and faces.

With recent major museum retrospectives from Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Robert Mapplethorpe, David Wojnarowicz and Hockney, LGBTQI art seems to be having more than a moment. But while museums have traditionally honored single artists, large survey shows of queer art are rarer than you might think. The Columbus Museum of Art’s new traveling exhibition, “Art After Stonewall, 1969 – 1989,” is a welcome remedy to that.

2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, one of the most significant events in Western queer history. Needless to say, the riot against police brutality led by trans women of colour heavily influenced the social fabric of NYC. But it also had a large impact on artistic movements. Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 chronicles the visual history of queer America.