EXHIBITION

HARDCORE: A CENTURY & A HALF OF OBSCENE IMAGERY

HardcoreLogo


“While online porn may seem a world away from the brothel catalogs of long ago, the Museum of Sex’s latest show shows our appetite for porn is long—and inventive.”

-The Daily Beast

 

 

In our modern Internet Age, with thousands of explicit images available at the click of a button, the terms “hardcore” and “pornography” have become nearly synonymous. But while it is easy to imagine that “hardcore” is an invention of the 21st century, the desire to sexually break the boundaries of physical and social modesty has long revealed itself throughout history. Despite repeated attempts to censor, sequester or “sanitize” this sexual past, artifacts left from previous generations prove our ancestors were not as asexual as an expurgated version of history would like us to believe. Though much has been lost or discarded, many private collections were kept hidden and secretly traded. Highlights of the exhibition include: a 1855 New York City Brothel Guide; a hand illustrated sex manual from the late nineteenth century; turn of the century photographs featuring interracial sex, group sex, same sex encounters and sex toys use; early stag films; a late twentieth century “glory hole”; as well as a collection of erotic artifacts hidden for nearly a century in the brickwork of a recently renovated Brooklyn brownstone.

 

 

Primary Content Advisor

Lisa Z. Sigel, Ph.D.

Professor of History

Department of History

DePaul University

Author of Governing Pleasures and Making Modern Love

 

Advisors

Dr. Sarah Bull

Wellcome Trust Research Fellow

University of Cambridge

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

 

Aimee Burnham, Ph.D. Candidate

Department of History

University of Warwick

 

Dr. Colette Colligan

Professor, Department of English, Simon Fraser University

 

Hal Gladfelder

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

English, American Studies and Creative Writing School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

University of Manchester

 

Ian Littlewood

Author of Sultry Climates: Travel and Sex since the Grand Tour

 

Kathleen Lubey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, English

St. John’s University

 

Joseph W. Slade, Ph. D.

Professor of Media Arts and Studies

Ohio University

 

Whitney Strub

Associate Professor and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies

Rutgers University-Newark

 

Jennifer Tyburczy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Feminist Studies

University of California, Santa Barbara

 

Lenders

Bridgeman Art Library

Nidal Jelahej

Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction

Mark Rotenberg, vintagenudephotos.com

 

Exhibitions Staff

Set Creative

Exhibition Design

 

Sarah Forbes

Curator, Museum of Sex

 

Mark Snyder

Director of Exhibitions, Museum of Sex

 

Production Staff

Jim Richards, CPF

Cletis Chatterton

Trey Tyler

Flores Painting

Tobin Productions

Santiago Lima

Lissa Rivera

Derek Stephan

Date

Ongoing