The Erotica Museum tries to pass itself off as taking a naturalistic, non-judgmental look at the act of sex – whether or not they are successful is up for the individual. It’s an accomplishment in itself that the Erotic Art Museum is located just off Stroget, Copenhagen’s busiest shopping thoroughfare – this sort of thing would be unlikely to pass anywhere in the United States.
Compared to, say, the sex museums located in the Red
Light District in Amsterdam,
which base most of their displays on shock value and voyeurism,
the Erotica Museum is successful in blending its sensual
art with a clinical look at mainstream views of sex, and
pornography in particular.
The Museum of Erotic Art is a relatively new addition to the cultural apex of Copenhagen. Opened in 1994 by photographer Ole Ege and Kim Clausen, the Erotic Art museum was started with the stated goal of exploring human sexuality through open discussion on a number of different aspects of the controversial and nuanced subject matter. The Erotic Museum definitely focuses on the state of pornography, though - not only in Denmark but the entire world. It’s this kind of exposition that defines the Erotica Museum, as every display in each exhibition seems to have lengthy notes attached to it, describing and explaining the significance behind every piece. Luckily for the American visitor the Erotica Museum supplies each of these sometimes important, sometimes unnecessary notes in both Danish and English.
Another interesting stylistic choice is that the pieces
in the Erotic Art museum are almost all laid out in chronological
order, thereby demonstrating the way erotica has evolved
(or devolved, depending on who you are talking to) throughout
the past. Beginning with India and ancient Rome,
the Museum of Erotic Art takes us all the way through
to the present day, with special attention paid to a number
of subjects – including the early pioneers of erotic
photography and the always popular Marilyn Monroe exhibit.
There are twenty five galleries in all, portraying “art,
kitsch and love” in varying forms – from erotic
paintings to postcards, photos, films, magazines, sculptures,
and plenty more. Guided tours are available throughout
the year, taking you even more in-depth into the world
of the Museum of Erotic Art.
The museum, for its somewhat divisive subject matter, never seems at a loss for visitors. The Erotic Museum claims over one million tourists have stepped inside to obtain a more analytical view on the state of human sexuality. The museum itself is one of the cheaper tourist attractions in Copenhagen - although if you are under 16, beware that there are sections of the museum that are off limits.