The Art Fund has announced that the UK's first national LGBTQ+ museum will open at its London headquarters in 2022.
The project is led by Queer Britain, a charity set up in 2018 to create a space dedicated to telling the stories of the UK’s LGBTQ+ community. Queer Britain, which is leasing the space from the Art Fund, will occupy the ground floor of the building in Kings Cross. This was previously taken by the House of Illustration, which is moving to a larger space.
Queer Britain trustee Lisa Power said: “I’m really excited that Queer Britain is finally going to have a space to show what we can do and that we're here for all the community, from old lesbian feminist warhorses like me to young queer folk of all genders and ethnicities. Queer Britain aims to tell our many and diverse histories, and now we have a home to do that from.”
The museum will be free to enter and will initially employ about 10 people, ranging from front-of-house, curatorial, design, development and operations roles.
Queer Britain has started collecting objects, which range from costumes, photography, documents and campaigning material. The launch show will contain a mixture of items from its own collection and loans.
Objects already in the collection include Stonewall's founding document signed around actor Ian McKellen's kitchen table; material from the world's only queer cricket club; and costumes from musician and actor Olly Alexander and Hi-NRG singer Hazell Dean.
The Queer Britain project is funded by patrons, a membership scheme and corporate support from companies such as Levi's, Coutts and Allen and Overy.
The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It helps museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK.