Self-portrait in Maine, by Donna Gottschalk, silver gelatin print. Collection of the Leslie-Lohman Museum.

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She spent a lot of time out in the streets, an experience that shaped her and the way she saw the world: It was dangerous, and the mafia were never far away. Threats and abuse after closing time were common — but it was a space of their own. Sleepers, Limerick, Art lesbian photography,by Donna Gottschalk, silver gelatin print.

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InGottschalk became involved with the Gay Liberation Front, a liberation organisation fighting for gay rights. She was present at pivotal protests, including the demonstration against feminist group, the National Art lesbian photography for Women Congress NOWafter it expelled lesbians.


Many of the posters, papers and other political material Gottschalk designed and printed has been forgotten or neglected, but the extensive archive of personal photographs she took at the time, documenting radical lesbian lives, friends, family and her community in their struggle to be seen and recognised on the East and West coasts, bring that era vividly back to life.

Her pictures pinpoint important factions in the feminist and lesbian movements, details of which were largely repressed and unrecorded by the mainstream media at the time. She held on to the images, Art lesbian photography said, for fear of how they might be presented.

Now the time is Art lesbian photography for her to be brave again. They were brave and defiant warriors who insisted on being, whatever the consequences.