Past Pop-Ups

The Queer Book Diorama Show

In 2014, The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, in collaboration with author Sassafras Lowrey, presented the Queer Book Diorama Show at the New York Public Library. A dozen artists from around the world explored the connection between early reading experiences and their own sexual and gender identities. Additional programming brought queer theorist Jack Halberstam in conversation with artist Jennie Lin, to discuss her diorama of his book, Female Masculinity.

On the (Queer) Waterfront

The LGBT history of Manhattan has been well explored, but the outer boroughs – and especially Brooklyn – have their own queer histories to explore. This one day public event in 2013 transformed the archway beneath the Manhattan Bridge, and the surrounding DUMBO neighborhood, into a celebration of Brooklyn’s waterfront queer history, with additional events stretching from Downtown Brooklyn to Coney Island. Pop-Up also ran workshops for interested visitors on creating their own queer history exhibits and archiving their own personal ephemera.

Before We Were Queer/Pop-Up NYC 2012

Over 1500 people who walked through the doors of The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation  and  countless more who shared this work with friends, colleagues, and families. The show was a critics pick in Time Out New York and was the featured video on the front page of - A full version of this video will air on Here TV’s Just Josh talk show in the fall. We produced seven events and featured the work of more than 30 historian/artists including oral historians, actors, painters, sculpters and more.


Pop-Up Philadelphia

From April 21-May 19th, 2012, we partnered with the William Way Center to produce our first full traveling show,  Pop-Up Philadelphia.  Over 700 people attended the show, which focused largely on the queer history of Philadelphia, but  also included archival photographs and memorabilia spanning more than a century, and an installation by Tony Whitfield entitled ”Chapel for the Betrayed,” which commemorated the deaths that would result from proposed anti-homosexuality legislation in Uganda.

Here is a small slideshow of exhibits:

Pop-Up Bloomington

In October 2011, we had a Pop-Up Museum installation in Bloomington, Indiana. We’re happy to report that it was a great success. Here’s what the local partner organizers had to say:

Hundreds of people came to explore Bloomington’s unique installation of the Pop-up Museum of Queer History during its week-long exhibition. The installation featured a number of pieces flown in from the last Pop-up, exhibits from the Kinsey Institute and a local timeline of Bloomington’s own queer history. The Pop-up took place in the Indiana University GLBTSSS Center on campus and was open daily for a week of queer history related events which culminated in the collegiate premiere of Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party, an academic discussion of queer youth in rural spaces and a fascinating educational workshop on teaching queer histories led by Pop-up Board member Dr. Rachel Mattson. It was thrilling to see an outpouring of interest in and support of queer art and history in the heart of the midwest (it’s practically the Bible belt!).

Pop-Up Soho

Our Soho installation was a three-week show co-sponsored by The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation and The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY. More than 1500 visitors passed through the show over the course of the month of August, garnering glowing press from The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out NY, Next Magazine, and many other venues. Here is a small slideshow of exhibits:

Pop-Up Brooklyn

The first Pop-Up was a one-night-only installation on the evening of January 14, 2011, in a queer communal home in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It was conceived as a part of Quorum Forum, a ten-day series of queer events throughout New York City. Thirty-eight people created installations in mediums ranging from multi-channel video projections to gingerbread and candy. More than three hundred visitors passed through the doors during the seven hours in which the Pop-Up existed.

Video Gallery

Performance by Jeremy “Dingles” Mikush, of 17th century Baroque music by queer composer Jean-Baptiste Lully.

Photo Gallery
all photos by Ian Kowaleski


Pop-Up Brooklyn in Full Force

Timeline of Queer American History

Timeline of Queer American History

Heather Acs

Heather Acs Performing at Pop-Up Brooklyn


Altar to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Altar to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

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