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Jonathan D. Katz

Chair of Art
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences


Queer history, art history, Cold War-era art

Head shot of Jonathan Katz

Jonathan Katz is a pioneering academic and gay activist who works at the intersection of art history and queer history.

In the 1990s, he became one of the first full-time American academic to be tenured in gay and lesbian studies. He founded the Harvey Milk Institute, the world’s largest queer studies institute, and serves as president and chief curator of New York City's Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

As a specialist in Cold War-era art, Katz is concerned with the question of why the American avant-garde came to be dominated and defined by queer artists during what was perhaps the single most homophobic decade in this nation’s history. His recent work includes co-curating “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Art,” an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery that broke ground by focusing on LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) issues. Katz directs UB’s PhD program in visual studies.


Jonathan D. Katz, PhD
Chair and Associate Professor of Art
Department of Art
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences