Press Releases

Queering the collections: Taking a fresh look at art through an LGBTQ+ lens at National Museum Cardiff

As a way of ensuring that we celebrate LGBTQ+ history outside of February’s LGBTQ+ History Month, National Museum Cardiff and Pride Cymru have teamed up to launch a new series of volunteer-led tours around the museum’s finest artwork, looking at the collection through a queer lens. The first free tour will be held on Sunday 15 March at National Museum Cardiff with sessions available in English and Welsh.

Hair ornament

Hair ornament - © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

The monthly tours will examine several different pieces of art from the museum’s collections from Study for a Self-Portrait by Francis Bacon, the wooden sculpture of Buddhist deity Guanyin Avalokitesvara to the jewellery of May Morris – the daughter of designer and poet William Morris – donated to the museum by Mary Lobb, with whom Morris had a close relationship. Some notable Welsh people discussed on the tour include Gwen John, Cedric Morris and John Gibson.

The new programme has been coordinated by freelance museum curator – or “queerator”- Dan Vo, who has set up similar tours in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the University of Cambridge Museums.

“I am really excited to be organising these volunteer-led tours in Cardiff. National Museum Cardiff is well-established for its world-famous art collection and has given me an opportunity to share LGBTQ+ stories, which are often underrepresented, on this tour,” says Dan Vo. “It’s a chance to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and acknowledge the existence and contribution of LGBTQ+ individuals throughout history.”

But what makes an object of LGBTQ+ significance? Dan explains, “It could be something that is created by someone LGBTQ+, or the subject is LGBTQ+, or something our community has made part of our story.”

Owain Rhys, Head of Volunteering and Engagement at National Museum Cardiff said,

“It is accepted that art is subjective and that we all see something different and personal when we look at works of art. I’m delighted that through partnering with Pride Cymru and Dan Vo we can open the doors to interpreting the art collections in a new and exciting way, showing that the national collections belong to us all.”

Gian Molinu, Chair of Pride Cymru said,

"We are incredibly excited to be working with the team at the National Museum in Cardiff to launch the new 'Queer Tours' which sees the LGBT+ community being represented in such a wonderful way . This is a unique opportunity to learn more about our Welsh LGBT+ history and to be educated with stories of historical artifacts and objects in the museum that until now have either been untold or actively suppressed... instead of being hidden away in history, those stories are now being told so that we can connect more with our past. Pride Cymru is incredibly proud to be part of this project. The 'Queer Tour' shows that the LGBT+ community has always been a part of and a key contributor to society. I feel that this is another step closer towards a society that is truly inclusive and that celebrates diversity.” 

To register for free tickets or for more information, please visit