On this day in 1966, the historic Julius 'Sip In' took place at Julius' Bar in Greenwich Village. One of the earliest civil rights actions for LGBTQ rights, it helped tear down discriminatory regulations which made gay bars and any gathering space for LGBTQ people illegal, and helped pave the way for the Stonewall Riots three years later and the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
On display in our current exhibition, "Expanded Visions", is a work by Tim McMath commemorating this event. This work by McMath, who has worked as a set designer, depicts the 1966 protest against the New York State Liquor Authority’s ban on serving alcohol to homosexuals. When members of the Mattchine Society - an early gay rights group - entered Julius’, a popular West Village bar, and announced their homosexuality, the bartender refused them service. This moment was famously captured by photographer Fred W. McDarrah, portrayed in the right corner. Eventually, these “sip-ins” successfully impacted court rulings, ensuring that “well-behaved homosexuals” could not be denied service.
Image: Tim McMath, "Sip-In", 2011, Foam core, paper, paint. Gift of Charles Leslie. Collection of Leslie-Lohman Museum.
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