This exhibition features 24 works donated by Flint native Jack B. Pierson. Drawing on Pierson’s experience as a gay man, Political and Personal: Images of Gay Identity sheds light on the important role sexual identity played in informing his collecting habits. Highlighting the work of several well-known and lesser-known gay artists and works by heterosexual artists, this exhibition captures the multi-dimensional nature of gay identity in the 20th century.
Pierson was employed by General Motors following World War II and later moved to Long Island with his life-long partner, Robert Martin Purcell. In 1976, following Purcell’s death, Pierson began donating his print collection to the FIA and continued to collect and donate additional works until his death in 1997. Among the hundreds of prints that Pierson collected, several focused on public identity, social activism, as well as gay love and attraction.
George Gessert, American, born 1944. Genetic Engineering Satyr, 1988. Xerograph on paper, 8 1/2 x 11 in. (21.6 x 27.9 cm) Image: 5 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. (14.6 x 17.1 cm). Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson 1989.64
Papo Colo, Puerto Rican, born 1946. Photogenics: Photopoems, 1979. Duotone on paper, 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson 19184.108.40.206
Rockwell Kent, American, 1882 - 1971. Greenland Swimmer, 1932. Wood engraving on paper, 10 3/4 x 9 13/16 in. (27.3 x 24.9 cm) Image: 5 7/16 x 6 15/16 in. (13.8 x 17.6 cm). Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson 1989.65
David Lance Goines, American, born 1945. Aids Prevention, Poster for the University of California, Berkeley, Student Health Services, 1985. Lithograph on paper, 24 x 17 1/16 in. (61 x 43.3 cm) Image: 24 x 17 1/16 in. (61 x 43.3 cm)
Joe A. Stornello, American, born 1951. Portrait of Jack B. Pierson, 1982. Silver print, 9 1/2 x 7 in. (24.1 x 17.8 cm). Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson in memory of Mr. Robert Martin Purcell 1982.437
Men Laid Bare: Homosexual Bodies and Homophobic History
Wednesday, June 23
Guest Curator Eric Birkle
This talk takes as its premise the double entendre of the phrase “to lay bare,” which is used to refer at once to the archetype of the nude in art history (or the idea of bodily exposure) and to reveal the extent to which homosexual subject matter...