1940s bar couple- Women who want to make lives together brave ridicule & verbal abuse in the 1940s but rarely physical conflict. "There was a great difference in looks between a lesbian & her girl. You had to take a streetcar- very few people had cars. And people would stare & such."
Gustave Courbet, Le Sommeil,1866, which depicts two women entwined in a post-coital embrace, caused a stir when it was first shown in the 1870s. The police were called in, and the painting was not shown again until the 1980s. But its brief showing had an influence on a number of contemporary artists, and helped challenge the taboos associated with lesbian relationships. For modern audiences it’s a good reminder that people in the 19th century were not ignorant of lesbian relationships.