LGBT+ History Month: What to see
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The more you see, the more we do.
The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.