The New Erotic Heritage Museum in Las VegasAug 26th, 2008 | By Megan Edwards | Category: featured article, Life in Las Vegas
Having read Steve Fey’s article about the grand opening of the new Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas, I jumped at the chance to attend a second opening celebration last night. Two equally curious accomplices and I made our way to the corner of Industrial Road and Desert Inn, where we found a parking space in the lot just south of the Déjà vu Showgirls gentlemen’s club and entered the glass door in the pink stucco exterior.
Steve’s article had given me an overview of what I’d see inside and how the museum came into existence, but the building itself caught me by surprise. Passing through a long gallery displaying artifacts connected with famous porn stars (sorry, if you want more detail, you’ll have to visit the museum yourself!) we entered a reception area and gift store. One more doorway led us into the gallery itself, a large two-story open space reminiscent of an edgy artist’s loft. The shiny, finished-concrete floors reflect the open steel beams and heating ducts above, giving an energetic, quasi-industrial feel. Carefully planned lighting spotlights the myriad of exhibits—something for every taste.
Well, okay, there’s really nothing for extreme prudes or holier-than-though inquisitors, unless you count a display of articles about people who’ve tried to suppress free speech about anything erotic. But what you will find is an exuberant collection of art, artifacts, movies, photographs, books, and machinery–a colorful mosaic of erotic history.
I never thought I’d use the word “enchanting” on a multi-panel display of old “blue” movies, but I also can’t deny that I sat on the red velvet sofa and watched them for at least half an hour. I was fascinated by eighty years of porno evolution, from an old silent black-and-white piece made in 1915 to a weird sci-fi experimental film made in 1995.
The art on display in the Erotic Heritage Museum is nothing short of outstanding. Paintings, sculptures, and photographs are all showcased in a style that equals any state-of-the-art gallery.
I can’t express how happy I am that Las Vegas now has a world-class museum that showcases sex. It will be a pleasure to direct those who are interested to a place that offers responsibly eclectic displays that go far beyond mere titillation. It gives me the feeling that Las Vegas has come of age—reached the point where we can stop denying or giggling and truly appreciate the rich heritage that has lurked too long in the shadows.
For those who don’t want to know about it, the new museum will be an easily ignored pink stucco box. For those who are interested, and I think there will be legions, it’s a chamber of wonders.