Vietnam, historic houses & some spidery sketchbooks …. LGBT History Month at the V&A

Furniture, Textiles & Fashion
February 25, 2016

After a very successful ‘London hub day’ at the start of the month (we’ll report more on this soon!), now comes time for our annual LGBT History Month afternoon of free talks and tours. This Saturday, we invite you to join us for three talks before rounding off the day with one of our monthly LGBTQ Gallery Tours.

All talks take place in the Learning Centre, Seminar Room 3                                                           All events are free, no booking required


LGBT History in Vietnam


vietbowIn recent years, it would look like Vietnam has been leading the charge for LGBT rights in South East Asia. Is this truly the case? Dan Vo examines how the traditionally socially conservative and patricentric country might be moving towards more progressive views on sexuality, with case studies of same-sex desire and transgender identities from the 14th century through to today.

Dan Vo has been a V&A Ambassador since 2013, and helped to introduce the permanent LGBTQ tours at the museum. He is a media producer, and assists with PR for LGBT History Month. He is also director of Salon Outré, a collective of LGBT BAME dance, choral and spoken word artists, with performances held at the V&A Museum and William Morris Gallery.


“The great wings of silence”: situating LGBTQ voices in historic houses

14:00 – 14:45

Protest tea towel in response to lesbian erasure in William Morris houses, Sean Curran
Protest tea towel in response to lesbian erasure in William Morris houses, made by Sean Curran


Using the 1975 V&A exhibition ‘The Destruction of the Country House, 1875-1975’ as a starting point, Sean Curran will take a look at the importance of preserving LGBTQ narratives in former domestic spaces now open to the public.

Sean will make a case for activism in heritage sites to ensure queer voices are heard in the spaces they called home. Sean will present their own interventions, specifically at Sutton House in Hackney, and a multimedia protest based on Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire.



Sean Curran is currently completing their practice-based PhD in queer activism and curation at UCL Institute of Education. They are co-curator for the exhibition ‘Twilight People: stories of faith and gender beyond the binary’ at the Islington Museum, and exhibition consultant for the upcoming ‘Speak Out!’ LGBTQ oral history exhibition at the London Metropolitan Archives.


Philippe Jullian – A Queer Life

15:00 – 15:45

Pages from one of Philippe Jullian’s sketchbooks, 1949-1950. V&A E.1982-1990

Join Zorian Clayton for a look through the spidery sketchbooks of Philippe Jullian, given to the V&A in 1990. Illustrator, writer, camp wit and occasional drag queen, Jullian led an extraordinary life between France and Britain, looking back at the Belle Époque and Mauve Decade to explore queer subjects for biographies on Robert de Montesquiou, Jean Lorrain, Violet Trefusis and Oscar Wilde.  Illustrator to Colette, Proust, and the Bloomsbury set, his own novels included a collaboration with Angus Wilson entitled ‘For Whom the Cloche Tolls: A Scrapbook of the Twenties’.



Zorian Clayton is an Assistant Curator in the Prints department, currently on secondment in Furniture, Textiles and Fashion. Zorian is Co-Chair of the V&A’s LGBTQ Working Group. Keen on ferreting out objects of queer interest in the museum archives, he has previously given talks on Denton Welch, Derek Jarman, and the gay 1890s.


LGBTQ Gallery Tour

Meeting Point, Grand Entrance

16:00 – 17:00

Conclude your day by joining our monthly gallery tour, which explores gender and sexual identities through a selection of LGBTQ-related objects in the V&A’s rich collections.

One of our regular tour guides, Glynn Christian, in front of Giambologna’s Samson Slaying a Philistine © Dan Vo
One of our regular tour guides, Glynn Christian, in front of Giambologna’s Samson Slaying a Philistine © Dan Vo

About the author

Furniture, Textiles & Fashion
February 25, 2016

I am an Assistant Curator working on the development of the new Europe 1600-1800 Galleries. My interests are wide-ranging but subjects I have particularly enjoyed exploring for this project include:...

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