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Gil Robison visual arts materials

Collection number: ahc.VIS422

Scope and Contents

This collection features images collected by Gil Robison related to his personal and professional life, in particular his work with the Metropolitan Gazette. Photographs include those taken by Gerald Jones for the publication, primarily of Atlanta and Georgia political leaders, as well as the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. In many of these images, Robison is seen interviewing featured individuals, who include First Tuesday Association president Beth Coonan; Atlanta City Council member Mary Davis; Lithonia Mayor Duncan Cameron (1944-2008); George Napper (1939-2020), the first African American Atlanta police chief, with Mayor Andrew Young (1932- ); Reverend Troy Deroy Perry Jr. (1940- ), founder of the Metropolitan Community Church; and Jack Watson (1938- ) during his campaign for Georgia governor. Also included are images of the 1980 Atlanta Pride Festival; a personal photo album from Robison's childhood featuring family, friends, and teachers in Scooba, Mississippi; a family business, Robison & Shaff; and promotional photographs labeled "IBM Urban League," possibly referring to the Atlanta Urban League.


  • approximately 1900-2001, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Biographical / Historical

Gilmore “Gil” Robison (1947- ) was born in Macon, Mississippi, to Sue Bess Robison (1912-2017) and John Conrad Robison (1910-1999). The family lived in Scooba, Mississippi, until 1958 when they moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Robison attended Emory University between 1965 and 1966, graduated from San Francisco Art Institute in 1972 with majors in film and photography, and earned a Juris Doctor from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1982. He founded the first Atlanta Gay Center in 1976, and later opened a second location. Robison was active in Atlanta politics as a proponent of LGBT rights. He was one of the first openly gay Georgia politicians, serving on the Georgia State Democratic Convention and the Executive Committee of the Fulton County Democratic Party. In 1988, he was the first openly gay person to run for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. He won the majority vote on the east side of Fulton County. Robison wrote and was a photographer for several alternative Atlanta publications, including the Great Speckled Bird and theMetropolitan Gazette, where he served as the editor between 1980 and 1982. Robison advocated for HIV/AIDS related issues between 1986 and 1990, securing funds through the Georgia General Assembly to fight the epidemic, and working as the first Atlanta attorney dedicated to related legal matters. In 1996 Robison was ordained as a monk in the Drikung Kapyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.


242 item(s) (142 black and white photographic prints, 59 color slides, 37 black and white negatives, three color photographic prints, and one VHS tape)




This collection is arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The VHS tape AV-VIS 422.001 is accessible only through conversion to digital format. Patrons who request access to this item are responsible for digital conversion costs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1993, with subsequent additions

Related Materials

Gil Robison papers, MSS 1152, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History Thing papers and publications, MSS 773, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History Thing visual arts materials, VIS 412, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2022.

Gil Robison visual arts materials
Kate Daly
January 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305