Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology
Anthropology, History museum, LGBTQ+, Museum, Queer, Visitor studies
Historically, the documentation of LGBTQ+ histories, struggles, and accomplishments has been absent from museum collections and exhibitions. Scholars argue that given the authoritative nature of museums and their influence on the public, exclusions of LGBTQ+ history can mount to institutional erasure of queer identities. However, in the past decade, there has been an increase in attempts to document and curate exhibitions highlighting and encouraging the public to engage with LGBTQ+ history. While this history is imperative to preserve and display, it can be met with controversy, leading some LGBTQ+ history exhibitions to be relocated or even removed. During the summer of 2022, I conducted a museum ethnography of History Colorado’s LGBTQ+ History exhibition, Rainbows & Revolutions to answer the following research questions: 1) How do state history museums incorporate and display LGBTQ+ histories in their collections and exhibits, and 2) How do the public and members of the LGBTQ+ communities react to LGBTQ+ history and representation in a public museum? I investigated these questions through participant observation, staff and object donor interviews, and post-exhibit surveys. In the thesis to follow I share my findings in order to offer detailed insight regarding the incorporation and public reception of LGBTQ+ at Colorado’s state history museum.
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Received from ProQuest
Ohaus, Madeline, "Queer Is Here, Hopefully to Stay: The Incorporation and Reception of LGBTQ+ History at the History Colorado Center" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2252.
Museum studies, LGBTQ studies, History