The Museum of Sex, which debuted in New York in 2002, is opening a new outpost in Miami. Bringing to mind the oft-debated adage “bigger is better,” the Miami institution, which will occupy a repurposed warehouse in the city’s Allapattah district, will comprise 32,000 square feet; by comparison, the New York institution boasts just 20,000 square feet (though it also is being expanded, to 25,000 square feet). The Miami Museum of Sex is being designed by noted global architecture firm Snøhetta and will count among its neighbors the Rubell Museum, Superblue, and El Espacio 23, the private contemporary art space founded by collector Jorge M. Pérez. “Miami seemed like a perfect location, primarily because it has become an art center in America and the world, Museum of Sex founder and CEO Daniel Gluck told the Miami Herald, citing the success of events such as Art Basel Miami and Miami Art Week as factoring into the decision to open a branch in the Florida city. “We love Miami, the culture, the diversity, the energy. It just hits all the marks.”
Inaugurating the new museum will be a pair of exhibitions. “Hajime Sorayama: Desire Machines” will mark the first US institutional solo exhibition of the work of Japanese artist Hajime Soryama, and will feature four nine-foot-tall versions of the “sexy robots” for which he is known, as well as twenty never-before-exhibited erotic paintings. “Modern Sex: 100 Years of Design and Decency” will investigate shifting social mores and ideas of sexual health through an array of sex-related objects, such as vibrators, dating from the 1920s to the present. As well, the Miami museum will host a permanent version of the interactive installation “Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival,” which opened at the New York flagship in 2019 and celebrates the history and sexual aspects of public merrymaking. “Carnivals date back to the Roman Bacchanal,” Gluck told the Herald, noting that they “have always had that licentious undertone, even in early-twentieth-century America. Before Six Flags took over the model, they had a very interesting, seedy, erotic underbelly.”
The New York Museum of Sex in recent years has gained a reputation for showing serious art alongside more id-oriented fare such as a bouncy castle made of inflatable breasts. Among the exhibitions it has hosted are a show on sex in outsider art, an exhibition of sculpture and photographs centering the LGBTQ experience in Peru, and the critically acclaimed museum debut of Argentine-Italian artist Leonor Fini.