Public Library Exhibits Stonewall, Whitman in 2019

New York Public Library president Tony Marx announced two “milestone exhibitions” for 2019 — one commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the other the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth. | Photo by Andy Humm

BY ANDY HUMM | The New York Public Library’s LGBT Collections will be drawn from heavily next year for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

Tony Marx, president of the library, and members of the LGBT Initiative co-chaired by trustee Carey Maloney and Hermes Mallea, hosted a reception for LGBTQ leaders on Sept. 24 in the Trustees Room at the main branch on 42nd St. to preview two “milestone exhibitions” there: “Love and Resistance: Stonewall at 50,” set for Feb. 14 through June 30 of next year, and “Walt Whitman,” which will be on display from March 29 through July 27.

Jason Baumann, who heads the library’s LGBT Initiative, said the Stonewall exhibit will focus on LGBTQ life and activism from 1965 through ‘75.

Carolyn Vega, who curates the library’s collection of English and American Literature, said the Whitman exhibit will mark the 200th anniversary of the poet’s birth.

Carey Maloney (right), a New York Public Library trustee, was among the hosts of the Sept. 24 preview. | Photo by Andy Humm

Marx noted that the library is home to collections from the Mattachine Society, the Gay Activists Alliance, the Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen papers and photographs, ACT UP, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and more.

In addition to past LGBTQ exhibitions, including for Stonewall 25, Marx said the library welcomes an annual prom for LGBTQ youth at its Astor Hall.

Maloney said the library “has unfailingly been at the forefront of LGBTQ advocacy” and dubbed its collection on queer history “the world’s greatest.”

Attendees at the preview in the Trustees Room at the Public Library’s main branch. | Photo by Andy Humm

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