American photographer Berenice Abbott made memorable images of lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men in Paris in the 1920s and in New York from the 1930s through 1965.
Gay and lesbian artists of the African Diaspora have recently begun to explore issues specific to gender and sexuality; often relying on self-portraiture, they address homophobia and racism as well as desire and longing.
In response to the AIDS epidemic, a number of activist groups, including Gran Fury and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, have used art as a means to raise awareness about the epidemic.
Prior to Stonewall, most gay artists were closeted, but they were inventive in creating codes for those in the know; after 1945 some adventurous artists developed independent networks for the distribution of works of gay art.
In nineteenth-century America men who loved other men often suffered from guilt, but artists such as Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins celebrated male camaraderie and affection, while expatriate John Singer Sargent depicted the dandy, and photographs documented male friendships.
After Stonewall, American gay male art underwent a radical transformation as artists came out and began to treat gay themes openly and directly.
American lesbian art in the earlier twentieth century was indelibly shaped by the expatriate experience and by the emergence of a more democratic art form, photography, as well as by the intense pressure following World War II to retreat into the closet.
The accomplishments of American lesbian artists in the nineteenth century, some of whom are only now receiving recognition, is all the more remarkable for the obstacles they faced as women and as homosexuals.
Since Stonewall, lesbian artists in America, from installation artists to filmmakers and photographers to performance artists and painters, have become increasingly diverse and visible.
American realist artist Patrick Angus produced keenly observed and compassionate depictions of the gay underclass of the 1980s.
As part of its reaction against the industrialism of the nineteenth century, the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized handcrafted decorative works of art and architecture, created medieval-type artists' guilds, which have been seen as homosocial.
One of the first American women to become a photographer, Alice Austen defied conventions and challenged stereotypes in nearly every aspect of her life.
American artist Don Bachardy, the long-time companion of novelist Christopher Isherwood, has achieved renown in his own right for his nudes and celebrity portraits, which honestly convey the personalities of his sitters.
A popular African-American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance, James Richmond Barthé used his art as a means of working out internal conflicts related to race and sexuality.
Photographer Crawford Barton captured the blossoming of an openly gay culture in San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s.
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel is best known for her long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which has run in alternative gay and lesbian newspapers for nearly two decades.
Ruth Bernhard is one of the preeminent twentieth-century photographers of the nude female.
Artist Forrest Bess was a mystic who sought to fuse male and female in his life and work; in small abstract pieces, he represented his visions, which, he believed, contained the secret of immortality.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the photographs of Joan Elizabeth Biren, better known as JEB, defined and set the standard for lesbian feminist image making in the United States.
Versatile African-American artist Nayland Blake creates--in a variety of media--work that reflects his preoccupation with his racial and sexual identities.
Avant-garde American artist Ross Bleckner creates paintings that draw upon and play with earlier traditions of abstraction by wedding his private experience as a gay man to public concerns surrounding gay identity, most especially the AIDS crisis.
The female nudes and portraits of cross-dressed women made American artist Romaine Brooks's lesbian identity known to the world.
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.
Many gay and lesbian artists who have defied the legal and social prohibitions against explicit or sympathetic depictions of homosexuality have seen their art censored or suppressed.