Sign on
boot, box
Date Made/Found: 1900-1920
Material and Medium: Leather
Dimensions: Overall: 140 × 80 × 230mm (5 1/2 × 3 1/8 × 9 1/16in.)
Department: Social History
Accession Number: 1989.259
Vesta Tilley (1866-1952) was a music hall actress who was famous for her male impersonations and pantomime performances. She toured all around the country, including to venues in Sheffield. She dressed as a man on stage and made fun of stereotypical male behaviour. Vesta was able to subvert gender roles in a way that was completely acceptable. We do not know whether she identified as LGBT+, but she may have been a source of queer inspiration for those who watched her perform, and remains so for modern drag kings and their audiences.
Display Location: Weston Park Museum

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