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Film Screening: 'Gay Essay' Photographer Helped Bring Queer Life Out of Shadows, presented by KQED Arts

Michelle Putting on Make-up by Anthony Friedkin

Anthony Friedkin, Michelle Putting on Make-up, 1972, from the series The Gay Essay. Gelatin silver print. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco,anonymous gift, 2011.58.11.

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Koret Auditorium

June marked the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, widely considered the spark that lit the gay liberation movement. Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay shows photographer Anthony Friedkin's candid images of gay culture in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s—when homosexuality was still illegal in California. Friedkin’s photographs of friends, hustlers, activists, and female impersonators were ahead of their time, and it took more than four decades for his full project to see the light. KQED Newsroom’s Scott Shafer spoke with Friedkin and others about this groundbreaking work and the times that inspired it.

7:25 minutes. This presentation will be on a continuous loop.

Ticket Information

Friday Nights at the de Young public programs are free of charge. Tickets are required to view permanent collection galleries and the special exhibitions.


The Season Sponsor of Friday Nights at the de Young is Hanson Bridgett. Additional support is provided by the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation and the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums. The media sponsor is the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

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