I. Mission: The Saint Foundation, Inc., is a New York based not-for-profit. Its mission is to acquire and preserve artifacts of New York City LGBT nightlife of the post-Stonewall era in order to create a chronicle of the socio-economic, political and cultural history of the New York LGBT community. It is hoped that this chronicle will become an educational resource for future generations of LGBT artists and activists regarding the work of those who came before them and on whose shoulders their own work will stand. Through its resources and outside contributions, it seeks to offer grants to fledgling gay and gay friendly entrepreneurs and artists to further the culture.
II. Historical Background: THE SAINT (1980-1988) was arguably the only true gay mega club of its time. Its legendary sound system, lighting effects, extravagant decor and signature music combined for elaborate special event productions. Indeed, in all of its official documents, it is described not merely as a nightclub, but as a theater/nightclub. The Saint’s and its offshoot, The Saint At Large event invitations feature art from some of the most notable artists of the time, including Robert Mapplethorpe, REX, George Platt Lynes, among others.
The Saint’s roster of famous regulars included the likes of Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Leonard Bernstein, Thierry Mugler as well as the Fire Island and circuit A-list, but it was the club’s loyal membership who elevated the club to its legendary status as the greatest discotheque ever built.
III. Contents of the Archival Collection
a. Fine Art: Original paintings, etchings and sculptures from a capsule of 80’s East Village LGBT artists.
b. Poster Art: 40 years of poster-sized invitations featuring artwork by prominent gay artists.
c. Promotional Art: Postcards, flyers, art ‘zines, etc.
d. Video Promo Teasers: Video promo art directed by artists including Gio Black Peter (2018) Rob Roth (2016 & 2017), Leo Herrera (2014 & 2015) and Caryn Waechter (2011)
e. Post-Party Pics, Videos and Clippings: Commissioned photographs, video trailers, fashion spreads and assorted media coverage.
f. Projection Installations: Original slides from the Saint’s dome and other projected art commissioned by video artists.
g. Experimental and Short Films: Commissioned films set against the Black Party and premiering on the International LGBT Film Festival Circuit including Schwarzwald: The Movie You Can Dance To (2007) 37 min. directed by Richard Kimmel; Black Rose Tango (2010) 10 min. directed by Caryn Waechter; High: A Black Party Symphony (2011) 10 min. directed by Caryn Waechter; Rites (2014) 10 min. directed by Caryn Waechter
h. Set Pieces and Décor: Custom designed set pieces and miscellaneous décor.
i. Leather Fetish Gear, Costumes and Head Pieces: Original pieces by fashion designers including the Baroness (latex), Miodrag Guberinic, Gerrold Vincent, Comely.
j. Branding: Envelopes, paper and business cards bearing The Saint logo in its different styles as it has evolved.
k. Soundscapes: An audio archive, LIVE AT THE SAINT, culled from 40 years of recorded DJ sets on reel-to-reel tapes and digital files.
l. Virtual Reality Installation: A commissioned 3D rendering of The Saint in virtual reality
m. Personal Stories: A commissioned webseries, STORIES OF THE SAINT (over 150,000 Youtube views) featuring interviews of original members, guests, DJ’s and staff.
n. Library: Periodical magazines, books, pamphlets, zines from 50 years of gay life in New York.
o. Memorabilia: including party tickets, coat check medallions, Membership locker registration books, giveaways,
p. Equipment: Original lights, sound and projection equipment from The Saint.
q. Letters: from members, notables, Membership office, etc.
r. Business Files from the earliest paperwork to the final sale, invoices, investment porfolios, financial statements, etc.
s. Other clubs: Donated archive collections from The Paradise Garage and The St. Marks Baths in addition to invitations from Area, Palladium and miscellaneious gay bars and clubs.
t. Miscellaneous Emphemera: Flyers and posters for East Village gallery shows, Theater programs, etc.
u. Rare matchbooks from establishments that were popular in the 80's and 90's.
Grants: Fathers Project, LGBT Curatorial Internships
Recent Charitable Donations: SAGE, Housing Works, GMHC
Past Charitable Donations: amFAR, Heritage of Pride, CRIA, LGBT Center of NY
Recent loans: Recent museum and gallery shows featuring articles from the Saint Foundation Archives include:
Art AIDS America: (December 1 - April 2, 2017) Alphawood Gallery, Chicago
Art AIDS America: (July 13 – August 23, 2016) Bronx Museum, New York
Art AIDS America: (October 3 – January 10, 2016) Tacoma Art Museum, Washington
Art + Sin: (March 2013) LGBT Center New York City
Art + Sin: (March 2012) LGBT Center New York City
Letting Loose and Fighting Back: LGBTQ Nightlife Before and After Stonewall:
(Spring 2019) at the New York Historical Society
Night Fever: (March 17 - September 9, 2018) Vitra Design Museum, Germany
Night Fever: (November 9 – May 5, 2019) Brussels Design Museum, Belgium
Night Fever: (June 6 2019 – October 6 2019) Centro Pecci, Prato / Florence:
Night Fever: (March 2020 – 23 August 2020) Museum of Arts and Design, New York City
Night Fever: (November 2020 – January 2021) V&A Dundee
Cruising Pavilion: (Feb 22 - April 7, 2019) Ludlow 38 Gallery, Goethe-Institut, New York City
Original works from some of the most influential gay artists of the time (Tom of Finland, REX, Robert Mapplethorpe and Martin Wong) with many incorporated into Saint art posters.
Tom of Finland
For more information, please visit: www.thesaintfoundation.org
The Saint Foundation, Inc.
382 Lafayette Street #8
New York, NY 10003