Celebrate People's History: The Lesbian Herstory Archives

Related artists
Carrie Moyer
Morgan Gwenwald
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
December 2014
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
This is a purple poster that has a black and white photo of a woman carrying a banner that says, "Lesbian Herstory Achives" in the bottom left. There is text above her in black that says, "We've got your past, Who's got your future?" On the right side of the image there is white text that reads: “The Lesbian Herstory Archives opened in 1974 in the Upper West Side Manhattan apartment of Joan Nestle and Deborah Edel. Along with others in the original collective, they were concerned about the failure of mainstream publishers, libraries, archives and research institutions to value Lesbian culture. They recognized that an independent archive, governed by Lesbians, would best protect, preserve, and share Lesbian history. “In 1990, the Archives purchased a three-story landmark district limestone building in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. It was the first, and is the only, building owned by a Lesbian organization in the New York metropolitan area, and was purchased with donations from Lesbians, Gay men, and friends from the extended community of caring individuals who support our work. The building, which is wheelchair accessible, was opened in 19993 after volunteers helped with the renovations. Inspired by the courage of Lesbians who lived, struggled, and loved in more difficult times, the Archives is governed by a group of volunteer coordinators and sustained by the collective work of volunteers and the passions of women the world over. Today the Lesbian Herstory Archives is the largest and longest-lived Lesbian archive anywhere.”
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.