Date of Award

Spring 3-31-2017

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Fine and Decorative Art and Design

First Advisor

Kathy Battista


Art history and history has gaps within it that are just now starting to be filled and the absences rectified. Those gaps are caused by erasure of queer art history. The way it has been rectified is through queer institutions and queer collections. This study explores how queer institutions and collections are innately political through saving queer objects and art. It is through their efforts that queer art history is finally being recognized in major institutions, collections, and exhibitions. I interview scholars and collectors to understand why they collect, which reveals the political nature and uniqueness of queer art as well as exposing how this history has been ignored and finally recognized. By looking at three case studies: Charles Leslie Jr., GLBT Historical Society, and the Alice Austen House, the political nature of the past and future of queer art history is seen.