Portrait of Michelangelo, by Daniele da Volterra, c. 1545. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Many New York City public schools are named in honor of prominent figures in American and world history. The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project compiled a list of the 25 public schools named after gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals, although only one — Harvey Milk High School — intentionally honors an LGBT individual. This list includes Michelangelo Junior High School 144, in the Bronx.
Michelangelo (1475-1564), raised in Florence, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet during the Renaissance. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time. Among his most famous works are the sculptures Pieta (1498-99) and David (completed 1504), the painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (1508-12) in Rome, and “The Last Judgement” painted on a wall in the Chapel (1534-41). He was appointed architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 1546, and its dome was completed after his death to his design. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has written that “the artist’s homosexuality was an open secret among his contemporaries and integral to understanding much of his artistic production.” Romantic poems Michelangelo wrote in 1532 to a younger man are considered by historians to be the first significant collection of poems in any language from one man to another.