International Journal of Art & Design Education

What to Collect? Museums and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Collecting

Volume 26.1   2007



Although museum and galleries are under increasing pressure to reflect and explore culture diversity in their collections and public programming, this has largely been interpreted in terms of ethnicity. Issues of sexual orientation are largely ignored by these cultural institutions. This article explores both some of constraints facing museums and the strategies, ethical considerations and curatorial practices they might explore and adopt to reflect and document our rich LGBT histories and heritage in their collections, and to highlight these histories in mainstream and special exhibitions and public programming such as events, talks and conferences hosted by museums. This work should be guided by close partnerships with the LGBT communities such as advisory groups. These changes will not be achieved overnight, but if museums have the leadership of their institutional management and the support of their colleagues, a change agenda can be implemented progressively.