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Portrait of Alan Turing Proves Popular Draw at Exhibition as Apology Comes from Gordon Brown
Alan Turing by Elliott and Fry 1951© National Portrait Gallery, London.
LONDON.- As the government issues an apology to Alan Turing, the second world war codebreaker who took his own life 55 years ago after being sentenced to chemical castration for being gay, thousands of visitors are seeing him honoured at an exhibition of gay icons at the National Portrait Gallery.

His classic 1951 photographic portrait by Eliot and Fry is on show at the Gallery's Gay Icons exhibition which runs until 18 October. He was chosen for the exhibition by chairman of the Environment Agency and former culture secretary Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, one of the ten selectors responsible for the 60 icons on display.

Chris Smith says: "Mathematician, code-breaker, philosopher, inventor of the computer, Alan Turing was one of the most brilliant men of the first half of the twentieth century, but the refusal of post-war society to accept his sexuality - indeed the attempt to force him to renounce it - drove him to commit suicide at the age of forty-one. Without Turing the Enigma codes of the Second World War would not have been broken. Without Turing computer science would have been far longer coming of age. Yet it is to our eternal shame as a nation that - far from honouring him - we drove him to his death. We can and should honour him now."

Other subjects in Gay Icons include artists Francis Bacon and David Hockney, civil rights campaigner Harvey Milk, writers Quentin Crisp, Joe Orton, Dame Daphne Du Maurier, Patricia Highsmith and Walt Whitman, composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, musicians k.d. lang, Will Young and Village People, entertainers Ellen DeGeneres, Kenneth Williams and Lily Savage, and Nelson Mandela and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Their fascinating stories are illustrated by sixty photographic portraits including works by Andy Warhol, Linda McCartney, Snowdon, Polly Borland, Fergus Greer, Terry O'Neill and Cecil Beaton.

The selectors of Gay Icons are Lord Waheed Alli, Alan Hollinghurst, Sir Elton John, Jackie Kay, Billie Jean King, Sir Ian McKellen, Lord Chris Smith, Ben Summerskill, Sandi Toksvig and Sarah Waters.

Iconic, a season of events accompanying Gay Icons, will explores fantasy, desire, melancholy, beauty, sexuality, joy and ambiguity through queer performance, film, music, literature and talks.






Today's News

September 12, 2009

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Sotheby's to Sell Property from the Collection of Mary Schiller Myers and Louis S. Myers

$1 Million Reward: Major Andy Warhol Burglary at Richard L. Weisman's Home

Portrait of Alan Turing Proves Popular Draw at Exhibition as Apology Comes from Gordon Brown

Intimate Aspects of Bill Viola's Films Given Optimal Consideration at De Pont Museum Exhibition

Metropolitan Museum of Art Features Exhibition of Jain Manuscript Painting

Exhibition Presents the Many Aspects of Spectacle Captured by Photographers

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Sotheby's to Hold Contemporary Asian Art Autumn Sale on October 6

Kunsthaus Zürich Wins Award for Communication of its Extension Project

ShContemporary Opened After Much Anticipation in the Spectacular Shanghai Exhibition Centre

Fleisher Art Memorial Announces the 2009-2010 Wind Challenge Exhibition Series

Spectacular Furnishings of Time Lord's Chelsea Home for Sale at Bonhams

Exhibition Concentrates on Three Major Print Series Created by Robert Rauschenberg

Museum of Latin American Art will Host Auction of Latin American Art

Arts Council England Recruiting 150 Artistic Assessors

Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum Benefit Luncheon Features Johnnetta Cole as Keynote Speaker

International Group Exhibition 'Lunar Distance' in De Hallen Haarlem

"Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort" to Open at the National Museum of the American Indian in October

Channel 4 and The Saatchi Gallery Announce this Year's New Sensations Exhibition for UK Art Students Graduating in 2009

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