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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.

DISPATCH AUTUMN 2003

sex sells:
the erotic museum opens in hollywood


Hollywood didnít invent sex, but it probably collects residuals.

Sex has been an integral part of film since Thomas Edison filmed The Kiss in 1896. Some even argue that Edisonís cinematic smooch was the first porno loop, since such shows of affection were not deemed proper for public display when the film was made. Sex in the American cinema reached its apex in the person of Mae West, who invited the audience (and Cary Grant) to "Come up and see me sometime," then met its Waterloo in the person of priggish Will Hays, a mid-Western schoolteacher who wrote the Hollywood Production Code, a ridiculous document that mandated, among other things, that screen sex always occur with one foot firmly planted on the floor.

None of this has any direct bearing on the fact that in October the Erotic Museum, the nationís second museum devoted to sex and sexuality, throws open its doors in the heart of Tinseltown's tourist district at 6471 Hollywood Boulevard, mere steps away from the Hollywood Wax Museum and the star-studded Walk of Fame. New York City's Museum of Sex, which came first (no pun intended), opened in the "revived" Times Square, Manhattanís "Crossroads of the World", another thriving tourist hub. Apparently, sex is being returned to the masses (from whence it emerged) and returning home-to Hollywood-where it gets some of its best publicity. Museum founders Boris Smorodinsky and Mark Volper, along with curator Eric Singley, promise visitors everything from Pablo Picasso etchings to David LaChappelle photographs, from Playboy pinups and Vargas girls to Tom of Finland men.

The Erotic Museum's Permanent Collection includes Tom of Finland, Pablo Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, John Holmes, and Julian Murphy.

"Sex and Technology" and "Sex and the Muse" are the Museumís opening exhibitions. The latter will include several original Tom of Finland drawings and a selection of works from other artists on-loan from the Foundation's Permanent Collection, the beginning of an ongoing partnership between the Erotic Museum and the Tom of Finland Foundation.

"Clearly there is material here that some people will consider pornographic," CFO Volper cautions, "a fact that does not invalidate the material. People will have fair warning that this is not Disneyland."

The Erotic Museum is one of the sponsors of the Foundation's upcoming Ninth Annual Los Angeles Erotic Art Fair Weekend, scheduled for October, and Foundation members receive a discount on Museum admission. Line forms to the left.

For more information on the Erotic Museum of Hollywood visit: www.TheEroticMuseum.com


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THE LOUVRE
“I know my little ‘dirty drawings’ are never going to hang in the main salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if — I would like to say ‘when,’ but I better say ‘if’ — our world learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then maybe I could have a place in one of the smaller side rooms.” (1991)
— Tom of Finland