Donald Albrecht

Gay Gotham:
Art and Underground Culture
in New York

Museum of the City of New York

Co-curated with Stephen Vider

New York has long been a beacon for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender artists seeking freedom, acceptance, and community. Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York brought to life the queer creative networks that sprang up in the city across the 20th century—a series of artistic subcultures whose radical ideas had lasting effects on the mainstream. Peeling back the layers of New York’s LGBT life that thrived even in the shadows, this groundbreaking exhibition revealed an often-hidden side of the history of New York City and celebrated the power of artistic collaboration to transcend oppression. Visitors encountered well-known figures, from Mae West to Leonard Bernstein to Andy Warhol, and discovered lesser-known ones, such as feminist artist Harmony Hammond, painter and writer Richard Bruce Nugent, and transgender artist Greer Lankton. Surprising relationships emerged: Warhol and Mercedes de Acosta; Robert Mapplethorpe and Cecil Beaton; George Platt Lynes and Gertrude Stein. The exhibition featured the work of these artists, including paintings and photographs, as well as letters, snapshots, and ephemera that illuminated their personal bonds and revealed secrets that were scandal-provoking in their time and remained largely unknown until today. Accompanied by a 304-page catalog.

Mr. Albrecht conceived the idea for the show and, working with co-curator Stephen Vider, developed its themes, selected all artifacts, wrote exhibition text, identified and worked with the design team.

>See exhibition catalog

Coverage on National Public Radio and in the New York Times, New Yorker, Daily Beast, Slate, Guardian, Gay and Lesbian Review, and many other digital and print publications

“brilliantly curated”
Tim Teeman, Daily Beast, October 6, 2016

“The objects and artifacts …are gorgeous and fascinating.”
Blake Gopnik,, November 10, 2016

Exhibition designer: Joel Sanders Architect
Exhibition graphic designer: Pure+Applied
Catalogue design: Pure+Applied
Photographer: John Halpern

Donald Albrecht