We're celebrating Pride Month with some of the works by LGBTQ artists in the collection! Learn about the artists and artworks we're featuring.
Zanele Muholi (South African, 1972) created their Somnyama Ngonyama series of self-portraits while traveling through South Africa, America, and Europe. The title, translated from Swahili, means "Hail, the Dark Lioness." It is a body of work in contrast with their previous photographs of LGBTQ people in cities and towns across South Africa.
Muholi's work is featured in the special exhibition Being Seen: Recent Acquisitions from The Ringling Photography Collection, on view through January, 2021.
Image: Zanele Muholi, Misiwe IV, Bijlmer, Amsterdam (from the Somnyama Ngonyama series), 2017, Gelatin Silver Print, 31 1/2 x 21 1/16 in. SN11594.1
Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899) was highly acclaimed in French and European art world of the 19th century. She dressed in men's clothing and lived openly with a woman for most of her life. She visited the grounds of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show when it was in Paris in 1889 to sketch the animals and the American Indian warriors with their families. William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, in turn, accepted Bonheur's invitation to visit her chateau in Faintainebleu where she painted this portrait which eventually became a poster for his show.
Two monumental paintings by Bonheur hang in Gallery 21 of the Museum of Art, or you can view them in our online collection.
Image: Weiners C. H. Wall, Buffalo Bill: Buffalo Bill Portrait by Rosa Bonheur, 1889, Ink on Paper, 39 3/4 x 28 1/2 in. ht 2003952
Duane Michals (American, 1932) began creating multi-frame photographs as narrative works in the 60s, and writing in the margins of his photographs in the 70s. His "fictionettes" have a dreamlike quality and often take on the subjects of sexuality and mortality.
Image: Duane Michals, All Things Mellow in the Mind, Ink on Paper, 5 3/4 x 8 3/8 in. SN11332.184
Guanyin is a Buddhist Bodhisattva, an enlightened being that has delayed reaching nirvana to help others. Guanyin is frequently portrayed as male, female, neither or both; in this porcelain statue made in the late 19th or early 20th century, Guanyin takes on a feminine form. The androgynous appearance of Guanyin in East Asian visual culture may represent the Bodhisattva's transcendence of earthy confines.
You can find more examples of Guanyin statues from China and Vietnam in the Center for Asian Art.
Image: Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion, as the Protector of Mariners, 1869 - 1919, Porcelain, 35 1/16 x 9 x 9 15/16 in. SN11122.152