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Queering the Museum

Queering the Museum

3rd November 2010

Queering the Museum exhibition opens November 4th 2010 at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

In a bold new project, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, in conjunction with ShOUT! Festival, has allowed artist and curator Matt Smith access to their collections and galleries to tell the stories that museums usually omit.

The Queering the Museum exhibition asks what happens when we stop thinking the world is straight? Through omission and careful arrangement of facts it is easy to assume that the objects held in museums have nothing to do with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Turning the traditional on its head, a queer eye has been cast over the museum. 

Objects have been rearranged and brought out of store and new artworks have been specifically commissioned to uncover, draw out – and on occasion wilfully invent - the hidden stories in the Museum’s collections.

“Subtly transforming the language of the everyday and the decorative, Matt's work seeks to reinvent the conventions of traditional domesticity , the home, family and normative sexualties from within. Ingeniously producing objects that are both reassuringly familiar and strangely new.” Oliver Winchester, V&A.

Sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, this exhibition will change how you look at museums and question what you see.

Running from 4th November 2010 until the end of February 2011, Queering the Museum is an Arts Council Funded exhibition, in conjunction with ShOUT! Festival and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Download the Queering the Museum catalogue (PDF).


Join Matt Smith for a guided tour of the galleries and Richard Sandell, Head of Museum Studies at Leicester University for a talk with a question and answer session. Saturday 13th November 2pm at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Social Media

You can see some of the objects in the exhibition on Flickr. Join our Queering the Museum Flickr group and add your images of the exhibition.

If you tweet about Queering the Museum please use the hashtag #queering 

Visit the ShOUT! Festival website.

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