Set and Costume Designers
The celebrated British photographer Cecil Beaton described himself as a "terrible, terrible homosexualist," but may be best known for his relationship with Greta Garbo.
Edward Burra, a British illustrator and stage designer, depicted the possibility of gay sexual encounters in his drawings and watercolors of the urban underworld.
One of the most innovative designers of the twentieth century, Erté created striking, often homoerotic, Art Deco fashion designs and lithographs.
The work of bisexual artist Léonor Fini, which emphasizes female power and autonomy, may be seen as a response to the patriarchal assumptions of Surrealism.
French painter, portrait artist, and set designer, Marie Laurençin had a number of affairs with men, but was also associated with the lesbian salons of Gertrude Stein and Natalie Clifford Barney.
A noted director of Hollywood's Golden Age, Mitchell Leisen is credited with more than 40 feature films, which are celebrated for their stylishness and visual elegance.
Among the most prolific and respected of contemporary costume designers in America, William Ivey Long has always been openly gay in his professional life.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Oliver Messel was Britain's most celebrated theatrical designer, the creator of lavish costumes and sets for ballet and stage productions in the country's most prestigious venues.
One of Hollywood's greatest directors, Vincente Minnelli kept his sexual orientation quite private, but his gay sensibility is visible in many of his films.
French architects and designers Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine were among the founders and principal exponents of the neoclassic Empire style; they are known for the elegance and grace of their work and for their devotion to each other.
One of the pioneers of Pop Art, Larry Rivers was a prolific artist, sculptor, and jazz musician; although he did not identify as a bisexual, the twice-married artist had significant same-sex sexual experience.
An important voice in children's literature over the past half century, Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated books that both acknowledge the fears faced by children and celebrate the imagination with which they cope with them.
Set and costume design for stage and film are fields that have attracted a large number of talented gay men and lesbians.
Russian-born painter, sculptor, and set designer Pavel Tchelitchew created a number of works that illustrate homoerotic desire.
A deeply sensual painter, Greek artist Yannis Tsarouchis filled his canvases with homoerotic images of vulnerable men and (to a much lesser extent) strong women.
Director James Whale is best remembered for his stylish horror films and for being one of the few openly gay Hollywood figures of the 1930s.
American lesbian Elsie de Wolfe helped create the profession of interior decorating; she was also one of the central figures of an elite New York "Amazon enclave" during the early years of the twentieth century.
Controversial Italian director Franco Zeffirelli has won both acclaim and derision for his visually extravagant opera, stage, and film productions, while also provoking the ire of many gay men and lesbians for his anti-gay religious positions.