THE EROTIC HERITAGE MUSEUM OF LAS VEGAS
January 24, 2011
“Take all the pictures you want,” we were told.
We were very surprised. In fact, I was blown away by this place. It has much that is explicit material and much that is beautiful and sensual. The museum is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that seeks to bridge the gap between what is commercial, and often misidentified as pornographic, with that which is esthetic, folk, pop and fine art through a common visual language. Except, here the subject is sex. Does that make it not art seems to be the question? The founders of this museum are dedicated to the idea that sexual pleasure and activity are natural aspects of the human experience, available to all, no matter what body they were born into. And thus sexual activity is a natural (and acceptable) subject for art.
The two photographs above are very erotic without any private body part in evidence.
These girls obviously don’t work in a grocery store.
And this abstract isn’t a Picasso, although Picasso did a whole collection of erotic pieces that are occasionally displayed for the public at special exhibits. Many other famous artists have erotic and nude pieces of art in public galleries as well.
A tastefully done painting that makes us envious of her freedom to enjoy nudity on a beautiful sunny day outdoors with a gentleman friend.
This photo of a woman almost completely covered by the membranes of an octopus. Will someone be offended by this picture?
Or how about this Las Vegas Street sign just outside of the museum on Industrial Drive. People drive by such advertising everyday in Vegas.
Chinese display their erotic art work freely without shame. In America such erotic art is hidden in our museums as though it didn’t exist.
The Erotic Heritage Museum was voted the Best Museum by the Las Vegas Review Journal.
It has the history of old time posters and comic books and their modern counter parts.
The early day styles of “peek boxes” where “gentlemen” sat and looked through a window at a woman performing or undressing for him. Peek boxes where you inserted a quarter and a short set of stills flashed for you to see, men only, of course. There are samples of early day sexual toys, leather goods, photographs and modern day items of similar style. A history of trans gender, transvestites, people who were born as “she-males” and other oddities. It covers the struggle for trans gender surgeries to be accepted. It takes the visitor through the 1960′s sexual revolution. Pornography movies, games and magazines. The Aids epidemic and pictures of the AIDs quilt. Ads for condoms use and safe sex. Planned parenthood; how to code a video to circumvent children from watching it.
You can watch a film of Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, interviewed on Larry King Live. Flynt said Jerry Falwell preached against him for 15 years. After Falwell was caught with a prostitute in a motel room with a copy of Hustler Magazine, he couldn’t help see Falwell as human. They became friends in later years though they each knew what the other was selling.
Some of the llth and 12the century carvings and artifacts may be too risque for a public newspaper blog, but, I found the place to be very interesting, though I had a few quavers when I walked through the door. There is much more to this place. Nude Yoga classes for men, couples and women. (Not together nor open to the public view.) There are plays and educational events related to sexual practices and procreation. Quite an unusual place. I’d give it a strong recommendation for those not squeamish about sex.