Studying the study of sex

The Wellcome Collection in London is set to open the “Institute of Sexology”, an exhibition looking at the study of sex.

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Undress Your Mind

The exhibition will bring together posters, artworks, photographs and objects based on sex and erotica, including AIDS information posters from the 1980s and collections of vintage sex aids.

Jugum penis, anti-masturbation device

Source: Science Museum / Science and Society Picture Library

Jugum penis, anti-masturbation device

The show is based on the work of key sexologists, including Sigmund Freud, Marie Stopes and Alfred Kinsey.

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The exhibition design, by architect Casper Mueller Kneer, is based around a series of “rooms”, each exploring a different aspect of sexology research.

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For example the “consulting room” looks at the work of Freud and Stopes. The Wellcome Collection says the pair “through couch and clinic respectively, offered an intimate space of encounter which counselled sexual satisfaction as a key to human happiness”.

Packet of "Anti-baby" condoms, German, 1980s?

Source: Science Museum / Science and Society Picture Library

Packet of

Meanwhile the “lab” is inspired by the bespoke laboratory put together by William Masters and Virginia Johnson to observe and record people having sex and the “classroom” looks at the work of Alfred Kinsey and his obsessive compilation of people’s sexual histories.

Collection of sexual aids, with instructions, in wooden box

Source: Science Museum / Science and Society Picture Library

Collection of sexual aids, with instructions, in wooden box

Exhibition graphics are being created by John Morgan Studio and the show is the first to be following in the Wellcome Collection’s £17.5 million expansion, designed by architect Wilkinson Eyre, which features a new gallery dedicated to long-running shows.

The Institute of Sexology runs from 20 November 2014-20 September 2015 at Wellcome Collection, 183 London Road, London NW1.

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