3 must-see LGBTQ exhibits to check out in NYC

Photo: Camilo Godoy, Self-portrait with Brendan, Carlos, and Jorge (2017)

As a cultural hotspot, New York City has its finger to the pulse with some of the best museums in the country. If you plan to visit NYC within the next couple of months, make sure you catch these must-see LGBTQ exhibits before they close.

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art – OMNISCIENT

Often called the greatest LGBTQ+ museum in the country, the Leslie-Lohman has provided queer artists with exhibition space for decades. Some may recognize curator Avram Finkelstein from the AIDS art collective Gran Fury and ACT UP. Finkelstein’s lifelong dedication to queer art is visible in this exhibition, focusing on what it means to be queer and BIPOC in the age of technology.

Currently up until January 2, 2022, OMNISCIENT features pieces from over 40 LGBTQ+ artists. All tackling questions on what it means to be visibly queer today and reconsidering how we view the queer icons of past eras. 

Reservations are required for entry.

Museum of Sex – Reclaiming and Making: Art, Desire, Violence


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Located near the Flatiron District, The Museum of Sex, aka MoSex, was founded in 2005 as a space dedicated to the cultural and historical significance of human sexuality.

With works on display spanning from the 1970s to today, curated by Emily Shoyer, Reclaiming and Making features 14 artists from various cultural and sexual backgrounds, including pieces by femme-identifying and transgender artists. The exhibit explores the complex history surrounding sex, desire, and violence while asking questions that hopefully encourage viewers to develop a safer and healthier sexual culture within their communities.

Running until February 8, 2022, tickets are available on their website. Potential visitors should note that the museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

RELATED: These husbands just opened a new LGBTQ art gallery in San Francisco

52 Walker – Kandis Williams: A Line 


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52 Walker is the new David Zwirner gallery and is under the artistic direction of Ebony L. Haynes. With a focus on the scholarship and research on the exhibiting artist, 52 Walker departs from conventional commercial art spaces.

Its debut exhibition, A Line, features the work of Los Angeles-based artist and performer Kandis Williams. The Baltimore-based artist work has been featured in other LGBTQ+ exhibitions, including A Subtle Likeness at the ONE Archives at USC in Los Angeles. Williams’ work is largely concerned with race, nationalism, authority, and eroticism, often confronting black subjectivity, racialized bodies, and sexuality.

All the pieces in the gallery will be available for purchase. The exhibit ends on January 8, 2022, and is open Tuesday to Saturday with varying hours. We suggest calling ahead or visiting their website for reservations.

Honorable Mention

Not Another Second – The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen

While not in a gallery or museum space, Not Another Second is a moving experience located in a senior living community. 

The exhibit is part of a national project to share the untold stories of 12 LGBTQ+ senators who were unable to publicly come out for most of their lives due to social prejudice. The project asks the public to see these lives now and acknowledge the sacrifices and contributions of these senators.

Running until the end of November, tickets are available on their website. There is also a virtual exhibition on view if you can’t make it while visiting New York.

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