American Queen

Photograph taken by Eniola Ajao ’21


The first exhibition to grace the Create Space, American Queen, is a collection of images of drag performances from Haverford’s own Special Collections. The exhibition “explores the boundaries of drag culture from the early to late twentieth century” and features works from artists like Cindy Sherman and Claude Cahun, a trans artist known for her artwork that pushed boundaries and challenged gender roles.


The exhibition is to run alongside Assistant Professor of Visual Studies Christina Knight’s course “American Queen: Drag in Contemporary Art and Performance.” The course uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore “queer subcultural performance” and its influence on American culture. Participants in the course analyze drag culture and what constitutes it including “cross-dressing, hyper-stylized language, and performative gestures.” “American Queen” is a prime example of the broad hands-on learning opportunities available in the VCAM, reinforcing the building’s original goal to increase visual literacy at Haverford.


The Create Space is on the ground floor of the new VCAM building, just past the Maker Space. One of two create spaces in the building, it is a hidden gem. This space, and its upstairs twin, located on the top floor, will host many more exhibits curated by students and faculty alike in the years to come.


American Queen is presented by VCAM, the John B. Hurford ‘60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the Interdisciplinary Minor in Visual Studies.  

Eniola Ajao ’21, Economics and Sociology Double Major, Abuja, Nigeria