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LGBTQ artifacts up for auction at the ‘Pride Sale’

Pieces of LGBTQ history are coming to the auction block ahead of NYC Pride, but you can see them before they’re sold.

As part of Stonewall 50, the celebration of the Stonewall Inn uprising, Swann Auction Galleries is hosting a Pride Sale on June 20 of LGBTQ artifacts with an opportunity to see them on June 15, 17-19 and on the morning of the 20th.

The special items span across history to include a handwritten note inside a book from Walt Whitman in 1875, to the original “Silence = Death” poster published by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, and much more.

Gerda Wegener’s “Two Women in a Window” watercolor from 1920 (an estimated value of $15,000 to $25,000) is showcased along with a first edition of James Baldwin’s “Go Tell It On The Mountain” (estimated worth between $800 and $1,200) and fine art photography from Robert Mapplethorpe, such as “Z Portfolio” from 1981 (estimated between $40,000 and $60,000) and Peter Hujar’s portrait of David Wojnarowicz, “Manhattan-Night (III)” from 1985 (estimated worth of $15,000 to $25,000).

Other works from Gertrude Stein, Tom of Finland, Alice Walker and more will also be shown.

Prices range from in the hundreds to the many thousands.

“We see this as an important and unique event among the many happening this June, recognizing the historical, literary and artistic achievements of LGBTQ+ writers, artists and activists,” Nicholas Lowry, the president of Swann Auction Galleries, said. “This auction will celebrate the community and give collectors, connoisseurs and the curious an opportunity to observe and bid on a range of material from the last two centuries, with manuscripts, autographs, literature, art, photography, posters and more.”

Check out the items at the following times at the galleries (104 E. 25th St., Manhattan):

  • June 15 — noon to 5 p.m.
  • June 17-19 —10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • June 20 — 10 a.m. to noon

See more at swanngalleries.com.

Shaye Weaver