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Schwules Museum [Gay Museum]  
page: 1  2  


Besides collecting and exhibiting documents of gay culture, a major interest of the Schwules Museum is research. Assembling, writing, and documenting a living gay history is a formidable task and an area in which much work needs to be done.

The museum is interested in becoming a repository for university research, such as doctoral theses, and also in assisting scholars in using its archives for research purposes. Memoirs and records from the 1920s, the Nazi era, and the 1950s and 1960s constitute a large portion of the Schwules Museum library and may be used for research.

Volunteers and Support

As a private institution, the Schwules Museum is largely dependent upon donations and endowments, since it receives a subsidy of less than 5,000 Euros annually from the Berlin Senate and has monthly expenses in excess of 3,000 Euros.

Not surprisingly, the Schwules Museum is dependent on a cadre of dedicated volunteers with diverse interests and talents. It also welcomes the donation of books, magazines, objects, documents, and art, to increase its holdings.

With volunteer help and a dedicated staff, the Museum hopes to educate the public, foster understanding, dismantle prejudice, and open new dialogues with members of the majority culture.

Located at Mehringdamm 61, in a courtyard adjacent to the gay restaurant-bar, Café Melitta Sundstrom, the Schwules Musuem is open every day except Tuesdays. Generally, two exhibitions run concurrently and are open to the public. Access to the library and archives is by appointment only.

Andrew Leblanc

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social sciences >> Overview:  Berlin

Notable in the twentieth century both for its pioneering efforts in homosexual emancipation and for the subsequent Nazi persecution of homosexuals, Berlin is now a major participant in the struggle to gain legal recognition of gay relationships.

social sciences >> Overview:  Germany

While Germany, until recently, never officially accepted or welcomed members of the glbtq community, German culture and homosexuality have a long and significant history.

social sciences >> Overview:  Libraries and Archives

Libraries and archives have been the sources of information crucial to the difficult process of identity formation and have been significant repositories for the restoration and reconstruction of queer history.

social sciences >> Overview:  Nazism and the Holocaust

As part of its agenda to preserve an "Aryan master race," Nazism persecuted homosexuals as "asocial parasites"; more than 100,000 men were arrested on homosexual charges during the Nazi years, with 5,000-15,000 gay men incarcerated in concentration camps.

arts >> Beaton, Sir Cecil

The celebrated British photographer Cecil Beaton described himself as a "terrible, terrible homosexualist," but may be best known for his relationship with Greta Garbo.

arts >> Dietrich, Marlene

Actress and cabaret performer Marlene Dietrich scandalized society almost as much by wearing trousers in public as by her numerous love affairs with both men and women.

arts >> Fassbinder, Rainer Werner

Responsible for bringing the much-acclaimed New German Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s to the attention of international audiences, Rainer Werner Fassbinder used cinematic conventions of Hollywood to deliver ideological arguments of the New Left.

arts >> Homomonument

Amsterdam's Homomonument is one of the world's foremost public memorials acknowledging the persecution endured by gay men and lesbians during World War II and throughout history.

literature >> Isherwood, Christopher

A major Anglo-American novelist and a pioneer in the gay liberation movement, Christopher Isherwood created gay characters whose homosexuality is a simple given, an integral part of the wholeness of personality and an emblem of their common humanity.

arts >> The Legacy Walk (Chicago)

The Legacy Walk in Chicago is an outdoor history museum that reclaims and celebrates glbtq contributions to world history and culture.

arts >> Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation

New York City's Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of explicitly gay art.

social sciences >> Paragraph 175

Paragraph 175 was the German law prohibiting sex between men; strengthened by the Nazis, it was the statue under which homosexuals were sent to concentration camps.


Bollé, Michael, and Rolf Bothe. Eldorado: Homosexeulle Frauen und Männer in Berlin 1850-1950; Geschichte, Alltag, und Kultur. 2nd ed. Berlin: Edition Hentrich and Verlag Rosa Winkel, 1992.

"Goodbye To Berlin? 100 Jahre Schwulenbewegung." Eine Ausstellung des Schwules Museums und der Akademie der Künste. Monika Hingst et al., eds. Berlin: Verlag Rosa Winkel, 1997.

Gordon, Mel. Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin. Los Angeles, Calif.: Feral House, 2000.


    Citation Information
    Author: Leblanc, Andrew  
    Entry Title: Schwules Museum [Gay Museum]  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 23, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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