LGBT+ History Month: What to see

John Craxton, Still Life Sailors,1980-85, Private Collection.

From sun-lit paintings to protest art, plan a visit to one or more of these brilliant exhibitions this February.

February is officially LGBT+ History Month in the UK, an annual celebration of the community's rich history and achievements, helping these stories to be preserved for future generations. It was founded in 2004, following the repeal of Section 28.

To help you plan what to see during LGBT+ History Month, we've selected some of the best exhibitions that you can visit to celebrate, experience incredible work by LGBTQ+ artists, and explore their histories.

From a contemporary artist who's created a joyous, multisensory installation, to a blockbuster exhibition which spotlights the lesbian community's campaign against Section 28, scroll down to see our top picks. Plus, find more to explore in our full exhibition and events listings.

And don't forget to pack your National Art Pass for great benefits at lots of these venues.

Discover some of the best exhibitions to visit with an Art Pass during LGBT+ History Month

John Craxton, Two Figures and a Setting Sun, 1952-67

John Craxton: A Modern Odyssey

Bask in the Greek sun in this hedonistic retrospective of British modernist John Craxton, who left post-war Britain for a liberated life by the Aegean sea. His paintings vibrantly express his sexuality and he is considered one of the first artists in Britain to openly depict homosexuality in his artwork, which was not socially acceptable at the time. When homosexuality was partially decriminalised in the UK in 1967, Craxton gifted the Home Secretary a painting for overseeing the bill.

A ceramic face with hollowed-out eyes, sticking its red tongue out with leafy hair like an artichoke.
Jonathan Baldock, Becoming a Plant a hop, 2023.

Jonathan Baldock: Touch Wood

Immerse yourself in the joyous world created by contemporary artist Jonathan Baldock, where the gap between human, animal and plant is blurred to create hybrid sculptural entities among a multisensory installation. Inspired by the medieval wood carvings of Wakefield cathedral, our ancient connection to nature, and queer histories, Baldock takes us on a journey through the seasons in a space without rules or binaries.

A black and white photograph of a group of women wearing leather jackets with signs reading 'STOP THE CLAUSE' sellotaped to their backs.
Mumtaz Karimjee, Stop the Clause protest, 1988.

Women in Revolt!

This major exhibition of feminist art includes work made at the end of Margaret Thatcher's tenure, when women were campaigning and exploring key issues of the time, such as Section 28, the visibility of lesbian communities and the AIDS epidemic. Significant works on display include Jill Posener's Dirty Girls Guide to London, a photographic series documenting lesbians kissing in front of the capital's biggest tourist attractions, fighting against Section 28's banning of the 'promotion' of homosexuality.

David Hockney, Peter, 1966

David Hockney: Love Life

Take a peek into the private life of David Hockney during the 1960s and 70s in this exhibition of rarely seen drawings, which capture the world around him and the friends and lovers who formed a crucial part of it. Intimate portraits of Hockney's former partner and muse Peter stand as an unashamed celebration of queer love in the face of prejudices of the time.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Daylight Studio Mirror (0X5A1511), 2021

Paul Mpagi Sepuya: Exposure

See over 40 works by Los Angeles-based artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya, who uses photography to interrogate the relationship between camera, subject and viewer. Through his perspective of the black, queer gaze, and by incorporating techniques such as exposing, layering, fragmenting and mirroring, Sepuya deconstructs traditional portraiture and challenges photography's history.

12 Reasons You’re Tired All The Time, Juno Calypso, 2013.

The Cult of Beauty

In this blockbuster exhibition exploring the changing meaning of beauty throughout history, you can reflect on a display by the Museum of Transology, the UK's most significant collection of objects representing trans, non-binary and intersex people's lives. Each personal item is accompanied by a brown tag with a handwritten note, revealing the object's significance to the person who owned it.

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

The more you see, the more we do.

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