Artistic, Colorful and Unconventional

A Visual Tour of San Francisco's Queer Art Scene
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Focusing on the important role played by the venerable San Francisco Art Institute and chronicling its rich history of nearly 15 decades, this presentation covers GBLTQ artists from interior decorator Edward Searles who donated the Mark Hopkins mansion at the top of Nob Hill to be used as an art school and gallery to the photography department's Minor White to performance artists Jerome Caja and Arturo Galster. This entertaining and informative visual talk by SFAI librarian & archivist Jeff Gunderson and former SFAI (and SFPL) library staffer Jim Van Buskirk explores many more unconventional San Francisco characters including faculty such as Jerry Burchard and James Broughton, alumni like Bernice Bing, Catherine Opie, Win Ng, Annie Leibowitz, Jess, and cultural fellow travelers including the Cockettes, David Dashielle, and Martin Wong.

Jeff Gunderson has been the Librarian and Archivist at the Anne Bremer Memorial Library of the San Francisco Art Institute since 1981. Gunderson is the author of the title essay for The Moment of Seeing: Minor White and the California School of Fine Arts, (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2006) and “A Combination of Accidents: The San Francisco Art Scene in the 1940s,” published in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: 75 Years of Looking Forward (San Francisco: SFMMA, 2010) which won the Art Librarian’s Society Worldwide Books Award for 2010. His introductory essay to Black Power/Flower Power: Photographs by Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch was published in September, 2012 by the Pirkle Jones Trust. 

Jim Van Buskirk’s first library job was at the San Francisco Art Institute where he was active in the Gay League in the late 1970s. He helped co-found the Gay and Lesbian Interests Round Tables of both California Library Association and Art Libraries Society of North America, and served as an editor of the Bibliography of Gay and Lesbian Art published in 1994 by the Gay and Lesbian Caucus of the College Art Association. Van Buskirk worked as Program Manager of the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center from 1992 through 2007. He is the co-author of Gay By the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (Chronicle Books, 1996) as well as other books, essays and articles.


Gather, share knowledge and celebrate our unique identities at the queerest library ever. Visit the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, the gateway to the Library’s broader collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and allies’ history and culture, with a special emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area.

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