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Sunday, 29 September, 2002, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
NYC museum is serious about sex
sex museum
Some of the world's first blue movies will be on show

A new museum on New York's Fifth Avenue is promising to put the serious into sex.

cartoons
Tijuana Bibles - comic books with a difference
The director and curator say the Museum of Sex will have a serious and academic approach to the subject, putting sex into its social and historical context in the city and in the United States.

Well-known professors from major universities are on the new Museum of Sex's board of directors.

They boost the museum's scholarly record and help the director and curator to argue the point that this is about history and learning - not about sleaze and smut.

The museum's first show focuses on New York's sexual sub-cultures and how they have shaped America's sexual identity - from the rise of gay and lesbian rights to the acceptability of sex change procedures.

condoms
French letters: Condoms from bygone age
Also on view are comic books from the 1930s, called Tijuana Bibles, which feature the supposed sexual adventures of Mae West, the boxer Joe Louis and Laurel and Hardy, and some of the world's first blue movies are also on show.

One, called "A Grass Sandwich" is about a day trip to the countryside and was made in 1915 as a silent film, with surprisingly shocking content for its day and age.

So far, criticism of the museum has been muted, but that may change when it opens its doors - to only those over 18, of course.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Razia Iqbal
"The tone is scholarly"
See also:

23 Aug 02 | Entertainment
08 Jul 02 | Entertainment
25 Mar 02 | Oscars 2002
24 Apr 02 | Entertainment
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