Robert Arrington, American, born 1950. Self-Portrait, 1985. Etching and silkscreen on paper. 12 13/16 x 9 15/16 inches. Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson, 1986.3

Political and Personal: Images of Gay Identity

April 17, 2021 - July 11, 2021

Graphics Gallery

This exhibition features selections from the Jack B. Pierson Print Collection, which contains 856 works on paper by 404 artists from around the globe. 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 forming his collecting habits and highlights the work of several well-known and lesser-known gay artists. In addition, the works of heterosexual artists are featured, contextualized through their homoerotic subject matter (informed by classical mythology and admiration for male athleticism) or the supportive content of their political messages.

Through highlighting public identity and activism, dissecting historic complexities of the gay male gaze, and considering the pensive and private moments of gay love and attraction, this exhibition captures the multi-dimensional nature of gay identity in the 20th century. 

This exhibition was originally scheduled for 2020 but was moved to 2021 due to the Covid-19 closure of the FIA.

Support provided by

IFPDA Foundation

From the Exhibition

  • 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 1990.2.1.4

  • Leon Gilmour, American, born Russia, 1907 - 1996. Cement Finishers, 1939. Wood engraving on paper, 15 1/4 x 12 3/8 in. (38.7 x 31.4 cm) Image: 10 1/16 x 8 1/16 in. (25.6 x 20.5 cm). Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson 1985.23

  • 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