World’s only Vagina Museum to make triumphant return after being booted out of former home
London’s Vagina Museum has found a new home, and the world’s first museum dedicated to “vaginas, vulvas and the gynaecological anatomy” is about to get three times bigger.
The Vagina Museum originally opened in Camden Market in 2019. Having survived the pandemic, it was forced to close in September after its landlord declined to renew its lease.
Now, it has announced that it will be reopening in Bethnal Green, in premises that are three times bigger. The museum will be based at a creative hub called ENTER, which also houses a cafe, rehearsal rooms, performance space and co-working office.
Camden Market will not be renewing our lease. They’ve decided to turn the Vagina Museum’s premises into a clothes shop instead. We’ve asked about alternative buildings within the market, and they haven’t offered anything fit for purpose.
— Vagina Museum (@vagina_museum) August 2, 2021
During its time in Camden, the Vagina Museum birthed two incredible exhibitions: Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them and Periods: A Brief History.
For its Bethnal Green opening, the one-of-a-kind museum will put on an expanded version of its exhibition on periods.
According to the Vagina Museum’s website: “Periods have been a taboo subject within society for thousands of years.
“Over 800 million people menstruate daily and over 50 per cent of the global population will menstruate at some point in their lives, yet this natural process some bodies go through is something still shrouded in shame and stigma to this day… This exhibition highlights just a few of the multiple facts and stories from throughout history that highlight the ongoing issues that surround periods, how they are perceived, and how a lack of understanding and provision for them in has impacted on lives of people to this day.”
The Vagina Museum is a vital, empowering and educational resource representing every person with a vagina
The Vagina Museum began when its queer founder and director Florence Schechter realised: “There is a penis museum in Iceland. Which is pretty cool. But there is no vagina equivalent anywhere in the world.”
Schechter was “pretty miffed (muffed?)”, but decided the only way to remedy the situation was to create one herself.
The groundbreaking project aims to challenge stigma and misinformation about anatomy at the body in a queer and trans-inclusive way, and “act as a forum for feminism, women’s rights, the LGBT+ community and the intersex community”, with exhibitions that were always free.
It grew to be so much more than a museum, providing learning resources, and hosting workshops, lectures, quiz nights and even a book club called “Cliterature”.
Schechter said: “We’re thrilled to be able to reopen our doors to the public.
“During out temporary closure we’ve had so many people express how much they missed us. Since the beginning of this project, it’s been crucial to us for the Vagina Museum to exist as a physical space.
“These last few months have been tough as we’ve searched for a new home. We’re excited to become a part of the vibrant community in Bethnal Green.”
The Vagina Museum reopens on 19 March, 2022.
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