Explore LGBT influence on American portraiture at the Tacoma Art Museum.
On the heels of same-sex marriage legalization in the Evergreen State, the Northwest once again paves the way for equality by hosting HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture this spring. This is the first major museum exhibition to spotlight lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identity, and it is making its last stop and only West Coast appearance at the Tacoma Art Museum.
Beginning Saturday, March 17, HIDE/SEEK comes to the Northwest at a very relevant time for the equal rights movement. With the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy just six months ago, and Washington becoming the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage in February, HIDE/SEEK offers its audience a pertinent discourse surrounding the ways that LGBT identities have shaped modern American portraiture.
The New York Times has called HIDE/SEEK an “historic event,” and the exhibition has received wide acclaim by local and national art critics and cultural media. HIDE/SEEK was originally organized by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, and debuted there last year. The exhibition has been reorganized by Tacoma Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.
HIDE/SEEK attempts to explore the ways that sexual identity has been identified and signaled throughout the decades, tracing its evolution through a diverse range of artworks including paintings, sculptures, watercolors, prints, photography and video. More than 100 works are featured, and range from the late 1890s by Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent to early modern era pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Romaine Brooks and George Wesley Bellows.
Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol represent the postwar period. There are works influenced by the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the AIDS epidemic by artists such as Keith Haring, Glenn Ligon, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cass Bird and David Wojnarowicz’s unfinished film, “A Fire in My Belly.”
The Tacoma Art Museum’s hours from March 22 through June 7 are Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for those with seniors (65+), and those with student and military ID, $25 for families (two adults and up to four children under 18). Children 5 and under are free. The Museum is free on the third Thursday of the month from 5 to 8 p.m.