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NY Historical Society Presents: Safe/Haven: Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove (ONLINE)

Tuesday, August 17, 2021
6:00 pm7:00 pm

Safe/Haven is a free, outdoor exhibition that takes place in our rear courtyard. (The entrance is near 5 West 76th St.) To maintain social distancing, book your free, timed-entry tickets on our dedicated Safe/Haven ticketing site. To purchase regular admission tickets to the Museum building, please continue to use our main ticketing site.

During weekends and summers in the pre-Stonewall era, gay men and women, including many New Yorkers, traveled to the secluded beach town of Cherry Grove on Fire Island where they found opportunities for sexual exploration and self-expression—behavior that was both stigmatized and criminalized in the straight world. Together with creative figures like Truman Capote, W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, and Patricia Highsmith, these visitors to the Grove took pleasure in the costumed parties, theatrical events, and liberated atmosphere that this gay sanctuary provided.

This exhibition explores the gay and lesbian community that flourished during the 1950s in Cherry Grove through some 70 enlarged photographs and additional ephemera from the unique holdings of the Cherry Grove Archives Collection.

This lecture is led by a curator from the NY Historical Society.