For as long as scholars have discussed the significance of historical objects and works of art, the queer stories attached to them have been overlooked or actively erased. Traces of queer connections are often fragile: communicated in code or couched in concealment out of a necessity, which has left queer narratives open to being unperceived, underplayed and overwritten. This project aims to reclaim and reveal those narratives.
The ‘Out at Ranger’s House’ Tour is a journey through a series of incredible objects. It illuminates the queer stories of the artists who made them, the people who commissioned or owned them, the figures represented within them, and their appropriation by the queer community – traversing thousands of years of LGBTQIA+ history from classical myth to modernity.
Ranger’s House in Greenwich is home to the remarkable Wernher Collection. Comprised of over 800 objects, the collection was amassed in the 19th century by wealthy diamond merchant Julius Wernher and came to Ranger’s House in 2002. The unique items that make up the collection were considered masterpieces in their own time, including medieval devotional items and glittering Renaissance jewellery, sculptures and paintings, as well as rich tapestries, prized porcelain and ornate furniture.
We often take the importance of valuable objects and artworks for granted, or are expected to understand their significance based on aesthetics alone. The ‘Out at Ranger’s House’ Tour takes a long-overdue look beyond the façade, shining a light on the queer histories that have shaped the objects we treasure.