New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Museum of Sex

This is one of the most fascinating stories I've read in a long time. MoSex, located at 27th Street and 5th Avenue, occupies two floors of a 5-storey building that reputedly was a brothel. Then there was the denial by the Board of Regents to charter it as a cultural nonprofit organization, saying that a "museum of sex" made "a mockery" of the concept of museums. And of course, the controversy: immediately after opening in 2002, William Donohue of the Catholic League, condemning it as MoSmut, said "If the museum's officials were honest, they would include a death chamber that would acknowledge all the wretched diseases that promiscuity has caused." The museum is "wholly dedicated to the exploration of the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality" according to the mission statement of founder Daniel Gluck, who has endeavored to give the museum an educational format. Gluck, a suburban family man, is a fine arts graduate of UPenn with a business degree from the Wharton School. The executive curator, Grady Turner, was a former director of exhibits at the New York Historical Society. There are 18 PhDs on the board of advisors. He accepted no funding from anyone in the porn industry. Still, the content is explicit and visitors must be 18. Exhibits include photos, film, porn, BDSM, Lesbian and Gay history, erotica, fetishism and history - like that of Julius Schmid, an impoverished German-Jewish immigrant, who in the 1880s, turned from sausage making to condoms, (illegal but later widely sold under the Ramses brand name) - read here. The museum acquired the collection of Ralph Whittington, a retired curator who worked at the Library of Congress for 36 years and had collected and documented pornography since the 1970s - click here for article. The collection includes more than four hundred 8-mm films, 700 videos, 1,500 magazines, 100 books, and artifacts (such as blow-up dolls and artificial genitalia). And at 57, he lived with his mother ...


Anonymous said...

That guy spent $100,000 on his collection? To each his own I suppose!

I wonder how many patrons it attracts?

Brian said...

I'm not sure how popular this place has been. I imagine it will always end up being more of a tourist draw and no matter how seriously the management takes it, it will be hard to get the public to see it that way,

Velvet Sea said...

they'd get more business if they lowered the admission price from $14.50. that's a big museum price, not a small one.

Brian said...

Velvet Sea;
You are definitely correct - I was surprised at the admission price. And they started at $17 and lowered it. You can print a $5 discount coupon from their website, but of course most people would not be aware of that.