Challenging histories: what place do lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer identities have in museums and historic houses?

Last month the National Trust’s Sutton House celebrated LGBT History Month with an exhibition called ‘Master-Mistress: passion, desire and ambiguities in Shakespeare’s sonnets’. The exhibition, curated by Sean Curran, raised questions about gender, desire and sexuality in Shakespeare’s sonnets, encouraging the visitor to contemplate the fluidity of such identities in history.

To accompany the exhibition, Sutton House also hosted a panel discussion on the place of LGBTQ identities in historic houses and museums, which I was delighted to be a member of. Also on the panel were Jan Pimblett of the London Metropolitan Archives, Naomi Campbell of The National Trust and Oliver Winchester, Curator of the Permanent Collection at the Design Museum. A recording of the discussion is available here & it would be great to keep this discussion going now that LGBT History Month is over for this year!

You can see a virtual tour and further details of the exhibition on Sean’s blog.

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