Jonathan Ned Katz is best known in the gay community as a historian and the author of four pioneering books on sexual history. He also founded, the website on LGBT history. He’s a self-taught, independent historian without college degrees who has led a faculty seminar at Princeton and taught at Yale, where he also curated a major exhibition on that university’s and Connecticut’s LGBT history.

But in 2004, after a 30-year hiatus, Katz returned to art, a creative endeavor of his youth. As a child in Greenwich Village in the 1940s and ‘50s, Katz won attention for his bold, primitive paintings. As an art major in New York City’s public High School of Music and Art (1952 to 1956), Katz continued to win accolades for his paintings. For 12 years (1960 to 1972) Katz worked as a professional textile designer.

On Feb. 15, 2013, during the month of Katz’s 75th birthday, his public emergence as a visual artist was recognized at the opening of his first solo show, curated by noted art historian Jonathan David Katz. (The two Katzes are not related.) The show will continue at the Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, in SoHo, New York City, until March 31, 2013.

A retrospective of Katz’s art is online at