Queer Representation and Inclusion within U.S. Museums
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The purpose of this research capstone is to provide an overview and examination on the landscape of queer-themed art held within U.S.-based museums, and to identify methods of incorporating substantial queer-themed exhibitions within U.S.-based museums. I chose to focus my examination on the landscape by looking at the forms of representation and inclusion of queer art and artists within U.S.-based museums. Historically, the depiction of queer-themed art and artists within U.S.-based museums have been portrayed in a few specific ways. While these portrayals are important, I argue that when museums continue to portray queer-identified people in these specific ways it perpetuates stereotypes and the social construction of what is thought to be normal. This research also looks at the use of power, oppression, and socially constructed ideas of heteronormativity to inform the common queer-themed exhibitions. The discussion about the effects of power and socially constructed ideas of heteronormativity surfaced while researching the various queerthemed exhibitions due to many of the exhibitions featuring many common stereotypes and tropes. Using two literature reviews and a comparative case study, I examine and analyze various queer-related exhibitions within U.S.-based museums in their relation to representation and inclusion. This research capstone was conducted to gain a better understanding of the types of queer-themed exhibits that are commonly featured within U.S.-based museums. The research was also done to examine the impact that these common exhibition themes have on the representation of queer-identified people, and to identify possible methods for creating more substantial forms of representation and inclusion for queer art and artists.