World Erotic Art Museum
Located in Miami Beach, the World Erotic Art Museum was established by Naomi Wilzig, widow of the late Siggi Wilzig. Wilzig had traveled the world collecting erotic art pieces and now has one of the largest collections in the world. WEAM is a museum that is open only to adults and offers exhibits drawn from its collection of over 4,000 pieces of fine erotic art from 300 BC to the present. While there are several museums dedicated to the interpretation of sex, this is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to fine erotic art.
Backstory and Context
Owner Naomi Wilzig opened The World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM) on South Beach in October 2006 because she felt her collection should be seen and enjoyed by the public. Wilzig passed away in April of 2015 at the age of 80.
It began in the late 1990s when her son, Ivan, asked her to purchase some conversation pieces for his apartment. Wilzing began collecting pieces and her interest eventually lead to her authoring five books on the subject of erotic art in history. When the collection became too large for her home, she purchased a building, which is now WEAM.
With over 20 rooms filled with over 12,000-square-feet of artwork, one of the most famous items on display is a large example of a male appendage that served as a prop in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film “A Clockwork Orange.” The museum has artwork from watercolor nudes to unusually large phallic reproductions, as well as a large wooden Kama Sutra bed with delicate carvings and posts. It also shows artwork from world renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso and Salvador Dali.
In 2011 WEAM premiered the first US exhibition of rare erotic Rembrandt etchings.
Starting in October of 2018, WEAM will offer a combination of academic events, cultural programs, and a variety of workshops and classes. With these new offerings, WEAM aims to engage the local community and become the home for Miamians to explore topics related to human sexuality.
Cohen, Howard. Naomi Wilzig, owner of World Erotic Art Museum on Miami Beach, dies at 80. Miami Herald. April 07, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2018. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/obituaries/article17797463.html.
Maxwell, Nancy Kalikow. Naomi Wilzig, Founder of Erotic Art Museum, Dies at 80 Read more: https://forward.com/culture/218284/naomi-wilzig-founder-of-erotic-art-museum-dies-at/. Forward. April 09, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2018. https://forward.com/culture/218284/naomi-wilzig-founder-of-erotic-art-museum-dies-at/.
World Erotic Art Museum. Atlas Obscura. . Accessed September 26, 2018. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/world-erotic-art-museum.