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  • The Eve of Porn: Linda Lovelace
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The Eve of Porn: Linda Lovelace

Opening December 9th

In 1972, Deep Throat, the tale of a woman whose clitoris was located in the back of her throat, became a trailblazer of the pornographic genre. Performing acts of graphic sex on camera, including the signature act of “deep throating,” Linda Lovelace, born Linda Boreman, became a household name. Considered “Porn Chic,” screenings of Deep Throat were attended by celebrities from Jackie O to Jack Nicholson. Linda became both the girl everyone wanted to attend their party and the girl that everyone wanted to have sex with, a star studded list including Hugh Hefner, Ted Kennedy and Paul Newman.

Lovelace had become such a well-known celebrity that in 1973, Milton H. Greene (1922-1985), one of the most celebrated photographers in the world, known for the “Black Sitting” of Marilyn Monroe, agreed to shoot Lovelace. Never before exhibited, these “Lost Images of Linda Lovelace” had long remained under ownership of a Polish financial institution and a private owner for nearly four decades before going on auction in 2013. Purchased by Yuliya and Kevin Mattei of YK Gallery, Inc, the couple entered into a partnership with Joshua Greene’s The Archives, LLC, which since 2006 has been working on the restoration and marketing of a 60,000-image collection created by his father, Milton H. Greene.

Alongside these photographic treasures, the exhibition features photographs of Lovelace taken before her Deep Throat fame, including pornographic images of Linda and her husband-manager, Chuck Traynor. Traynor and Lovelace had a complicated relationship, and years later Linda would assert that Traynor had forced her at gunpoint to perform in Deep Throat as well as earlier stag loops she was featured in. While Traynor acknowledged incidents of abuse, he claims he in no way forces Lovelace to participate in the production of pornography. He did however credit himself for her fame, and has been quoted saying, “There never was a Linda Lovelace. I’m Linda Lovelace. Linda Lovelace got where she got because of my brain, not because of her throat.” These and other rare photographs and ephemera on loan from Eric Danville, one of Lovelace’s biographers and the author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, help tell Linda’s complicated story.

Lovelace, once the poster child of pornography, later denounced her participation in the industry in her 1980 book, Ordeal. A deeply polarizing book, Lovelace’s initial fans turned on her for renouncing porn. The feminist anti-porn movement, and individuals such as Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dorkin from the organization Women Against Porn, applauded her for validating their efforts. Porn became both the subject of free speech debates and a civil rights issue in the 1980s, with Lovelace caught in the middle. Footage from the forthcoming documentary, Linda Lovelace’s Loose Lips, created by Legs McNeil, the author of The Other Hollywood, and Alex Chmaj, helps round out Linda’s legacy of proclamations and reversals, which spanned the instrumental decades of the porn industry’s inception. The documentary, scheduled for public release in late 2013, includes segments from Linda’s last interview on camera before her untimely death in 2002.

But while much has been said, books have been written and films created, the public is only left with more questions. Did Linda bite from the apple of porn willingly or was she forced?

 


 

About the Museum of Sex

The mission of the Museum of Sex (MoSEX) is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality.  Since opening in 2002, MoSEX has collaborated with world-renown cultural institutions, artists, and academics to create exhibitions and programs that explore the best in current scholarship in the arts, sciences and humanities. From fine art to historical ephemera, its permanent collection is comprised of more than 15,000 sexually significant artifacts.

MoSEX has become a destination US and international visitors have come to know and love, featuring four floors of gallery space, a unique gift shop with one-of-a-kind signature products and Play, its café/den/bar & lounge.  Located at 233 Fifth Avenue (at 27th Street) in New York City, MoSEX is open 7 days a week: Sunday to Thursday from 10:00am to 8:00pm; Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00am to 9:00pm. Tickets may be purchased at the ticket counter or online at the website.

For more information, please visit www.museumofsex.com, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mosex and follow us on Twitter at @museumofsex.