When the HIV/AIDS crisis emerged in the 1980s, New York became its epicenter. According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, more than 25,000 people had died of AIDS-related complications in the city by the end of 1990.
The epidemic didn’t just create patients; it also turned New Yorkers into caretakers. “AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism” at the Museum of the City of New York explores how.
Using art as a lens, the exhibition chronicles the emotional and personal effects of the epidemic. As activists took to the streets to demand research, funding and recognition, much of the response to the crisis took place behind closed doors.
As people struggled to learn how to care for their loved ones and community members, the exhibition argues, they also redefined the concept of family.