Sizing Up

World’s first (and only) LGBTQ art museum to expand its Soho space

Architecture East News
Richard Hamilton's print, Just what is it that makes today's homes so different? (1993) will be one of 140 works on display when the Leslie-Lohman Museum  debuts its expanded exhibition space. (Courtesy Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art)
Richard Hamilton's print, Just what is it that makes today's homes so different? (1993) will be one of 140 works on display when the Leslie-Lohman Museum debuts its expanded exhibition space. (Courtesy Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art)

A venerable downtown art institution has recently announced plans to expand its diminutive Soho space into a larger gallery.

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art’s expansion will nearly double the size of the 30-year-old museum to make room for its expanding permanent collection and provide more space for public programming. A Soho resident since its founding, the Leslie-Lohman Museum is the world’s first (and only) institution dedicated to LGBTQ art. New York–based Steven Keith Architect will add 2,300 square feet to the existing 3,300-square-foot museum.

“This expansion marks an extraordinary turning point and phase of substantive growth for the Museum, which has had a strong presence in SoHo for nearly 30 years,” said Interim Museum Executive Director Meryl A. Allison, in a statement. “Not only are we adding an entirely new gallery to the museum, but we are also actively enhancing our permanent collection through our recently announced Hunter O’Hanian Diversity Art Fund. This fund, which has raised over $40,000 since its inception this summer, supports our mission of representing all of our constituents through collecting non-cisgender white male artists.”

The expanded museum, which is always free to visit, will open to the public early next year with an exhibition of 140 pieces, including collection highlights and recently acquired work by artists like Mickalene Thomas, George Bellows, Bernice Abbott, Go Mishima, and Richard Hamilton.

The institution is not the only downtown museum aiming to live larger: In the past year alone, two Lower East Side institutions—the New Museum and the Tenement Museum—have announced major expansions.

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