Gay Secrets of the MFA tour unearths the museum’s queer art

By Kaylin Wu

Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, Oscar Wilde Tours will be hosting a fun and informative tour focusing on LGBT themes underlying many famous works at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. According to Oscar Wilde Tours, the MFA’s collection of LGBT-themed Classical Greek and Roman art is known throughout the art community as being one of the most extensive collections in existence. The MFA also features many pieces of LGBT+ art from other cultures and time periods, providing plenty of work for tour guests to see and learn more about.

Image found here.

Highlights of the tour include “the male/male couple that were ancient Athens’ Uncle Sam” and “the sexiest Jesus of the Italian Renaissance.” The tour will also focus on “Boston Marriages” between women artists in the late 19th century. These “marriages” were often arranged for women as practice marriages before they became legally married to men; however, these intimate relations became spaces where women could explore their desires for other women under the guise of rehearsing for a marriage with a man.

The reality is queer people have been making great artistic contributions for centuries. Artists such as Michelangelo, John Singer Sargent, and Frida Kahlo, just to name a few, are queer artists who have created amazing work still admired today. Unfortunately, for a long time queer narratives surrounding artists were ignored and pushed under the rug, neglecting the nuances of their gender and sexuality that influenced their art. Gay Secrets of the MFA intends to unearth the gay art of the museum, celebrating the stories it tells and reminding us that queer art is and has always been a significant part of art history.

Gay Secrets of the MFA will take place on Wednesday, February 28, at 6:30 p.m. at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For tickets and additional tour information, click here.