Long-distance swimmer and respected sports commentator has in more recent years spoken out on issues of glbtq rights.
Indian playwright, screenwriter, dancer, director, and actor Mahesh Dattani is an important figure in South Asian gay culture by virtue of his recurrent depiction of queer characters.
Entertainer Josephine Baker achieved acclaim as the twentieth century's first international black female sex symbol, but kept carefully hidden her many sexual liaisons with women, which continued from adolescence to the end of her life.
American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.
San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
Congratulations to acclaimed artist Ellsworth Kelly and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner on being awarded 2012 National Medals of the Arts. President Obama will present Kelly, Kushner, and other awardees of the National of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal their awards at a reception in the White House on July 10, 2013.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were established by the Congress in 1965 as independent agencies of the federal government. To date, the NEA and the NEH funds a variety of artistic and scholarly projects and works with diverse audiences and agencies throughout the country. The National Medals for the Arts and Humanities are chosen by a panel of distinguished scholars and artists.
The citations for Kelly and Kushner read as follows.
Ellsworth Kelly is awarded a National Medal for the Arts for his contributions as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. A careful observer of form, color, and the natural world, Mr. Kelly has shaped more than half a century of abstraction and remains a vital influence in American art.
Tony Kushner is awarded a National Medal for the Arts for his contributions to American theater and film. Whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy, and the philosophical to the personal.
Among other recipients of the National Medal for the Arts to be honored on July 10, 2013 are the following: musician Herb Alpert; philanthropist and educator Lin Arison; dancer and choreographer Joan Myers Brown; opera diva Renée Fleming; novelist Ernest Gaines; filmmaker George Lucas; comedian Elaine May; architect Laurie Olin; and Jazz musician Allen Toussaint.
In the video below Kelly speaks with curators Stephanie Barron and Britt Salvesen about an exhibition of his work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2012.
In the following video, from December 2012, Kushner talks about the continuing relevance of theater.