University of Richmond Museums New Exhibition Pays Tribute to LGBTQ+ Rights Movement

August 25, 2023

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Queer Pioneers: LGBTQ+ History through the Photographs of Robert Giard, a groundbreaking exhibition that pays tribute to the LGBTQ+ rights movement through the lens of the American photographer Robert Giard, will be on view at the Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond from Aug. 29 through Dec. 8.

Audre Lorde by Robert Giard, 1980“This fall the Richmond community will not want to miss Queer Pioneers, a wonderful, deeply researched exhibition of Robert Giard’s photographic portraits of leaders from the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States,” said Issa Lampe, executive director of University Museums. “It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with guest curator Hunter O’Hanian this summer to realize his vision for this important show at the Harnett Museum of Art.”

Giard made evocative portraits documenting over 600 LGBTQ+ pioneering activists, writers, and scholars during the last two decades of the 20th century. In this exhibition, 25 of those images have been assembled to tell the story of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. The exhibition begins in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance and moves through key moments in the gay civil rights movement, the Stonewall Uprising, and Culture Wars of the 1990s.

The exhibition is curated by Hunter O’Hanian, an independent curator and consultant in LGBTQ+ art and history projects. O’Hanian — former director of the Stonewall National Library and Archive and founding Director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art — will join University Museums for a lecture on Giard’s work Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Center for the Arts. A reception will follow.

University of Richmond Museums are free and open to the public, no appointment necessary. Current hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Thursday from 1-7 p.m. Expanded open hours will be announced soon on our website. For more information about directions, exhibitions, and programs, visits

Photo above: Robert Giard, Audre Lorde, gelatin silver print, 1987. © Jonathan Silin.