In March 2015 the IHLIA, a Dutch organization for collecting and preserving LGBT heritage, organized a symposium called ‘Queering the Collections’. Concerns were expressed about the lack of recognition for LGBT stories and objects in Dutch museums. A much heard complaint from museums is that there are not enough objects to display. The symposium called for more projects to expand and add to Dutch LGBT heritage collections.
This exhibition is part of this project to give LGBT-people a voice and a place to tell their stories. The objects below are gathered by different groups during the Master program Public History at the University of Amsterdam.
There are two kinds of objects included. The first category contains objects that are already a part of existing collections, but without the LGBT perspective. The second category consists of new objects telling new stories. These new objects might later be added to collections of museums.
This late medieval painting from Joos van Cleve shows Christ and John the Baptist as babies, embracing and kissing. Different opinions exist around this artwork, whether it is a Christian or a homo-erotic representation.
This owl lamp was used in gay bars around 1930s-60s. It was used as a warning signal: when police or heterosexuals were to enter the bar, the eyes of the owl would lit up and the visitors of the bar knew that they had to ‘act normal’.
Castration as a medical treatment: nowadays it is hard to imagine, but only forty years ago this practice came to an end. However, the controversy still exists.
Newspaper correction. (Algemeen Handelsblad 20 April 1962, VU Archive)