Beginning with the exhibitions of his work in the ’70s, gradually things changed. With each succeeding exhibit, the venue slowly but surely improved, going from the back room of a porno shop, to the back room of a used boot store, to small but classy galleries, to large and elegant galleries. By the ’90s, Tom’s drawings appeared in the catalogues of Christie’s and on museum walls.
The Whitney Biennial opened in 1991 just in time [before he died] for Tom to learn that his work was hanging in a major museum (with Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella).
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1991. Curators: Richard Armstrong, John G. Hanhardt, Richard Marshall, and Lisa Phillips.
I know my little ‘dirty drawings’ are never going to hang in the main salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if—I would like to say ‘when,’ but I better say ‘if’—our world learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then maybe I could have a place in one of the smaller side rooms.
Published: 22nd October 2021Tags: #TomOfFinland101, 101 Quiz, The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero