Bournemouth’s Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum launched its epic Refracted: Collection Highlights exhibition on Saturday 13 May 2017. This rainbow-coloured, landmark collection of paintings and sculptures marked the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England with bold pieces of work to reflect this change in social and cultural attitudes.
The exhibition took its inspiration from the Rainbow Flag, used since the 1970s to symbolise the LGBT+ community with a bold colour scheme and themed paintings and exhibits reflecting the rainbow colours and their associated themes.
Some of the pieces on display represented or reflected LGBT+ experiences before decriminalisation with notable works including The Annunciation, 1977 by Simeon Solomon (1840 – 1905) and John Minton’s (1917 – 1957) stunning life-size portrait Painter and Model.
Free to discover
Visitors keen to be first to view this fascinating collection and also explore the magnificent Russell-Cotes house and gardens were able to do so absolutely free of charge on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May 2017. The house is a treasure trove of more than 1000 objects and works of art on display in a collection started by Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes in their Victorian seafront villa.
The admission fee for the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum was waived for this weekend but any donations are, of course, always welcome, to support the upkeep and work of this precious venue. Refracted: Collection Highlights ran from 13 May 2017 to 8 September 2017.