Welcoming the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art

I’m a little late to the game on this; yet however belated I may be it’s too exciting not to post! The Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art (MOTHA), the first museum dedicated to the hirstory and art of transgender people, recently introduced itself in an open letter. The museum’s mission is stated as such:

“The Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art (MOTHA) is dedicated to moving the history and art of transgender people to the center of public life. The preeminent institution of its kind, the museum insists on an expansive and unstable definition of transgender, one that is able to encompass all transgender and gender–non-conformed art and artists. MOTHA is committed to developing a robust exhibition and programming schedule that will enrich the transgender mythos both by exhibiting works by living artists and by honoring the hiroes and transcestors who have come before. Pending the construction of MOTHA, the museum will function as a series of autonomous off-site experiences around the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world.”

A diagram from MOTHA displaying the amount of transgender people currently, formerly, or projected to be incarcerated. The number of transgender people identifying as artists as compared to representation of transgender artists in museums.

A diagram from MOTHA displaying the amount of transgender people currently, formerly, or projected to be incarcerated. The number of transgender people identifying as artists as compared to representation of transgender artists in museums.

MOTHA is filling a desperately needed role. According to MOTHA’s open letter, the majority of transgender people identify as artists; however they lack representation in public art institutions. This is unfortunate as there are a number of transgender artists making innovative and high quality work (Take a look at one of their upcoming artists, Nicki Green. An artist statement and several examples of her work can be found here).

It’s heartening to see the museum’s changeability– they point out its “expansive and unstable definition of transgender” in the mission statement. MOTHA is poised to reflect the current artistic landscape, evolve with concepts of gender, and adapt to new modes of thinking in art museums. It will be exciting to see how they implement exhibits and programming and how their museum interacts with both transgender and cisgender communities.

But don’t just take it from me! Read about everything from MOTHA’s mission, programming, facility and more in the open letter. And learn more about the museum and upcoming events here.

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