The world’s first-ever museum dedicated to gynaecological anatomy opened in London this weekend.
The project started in March 2017 a pop-up that came after director Florence Schechter found out that there were plenty of penis museums, such as the Penis Museum in Iceland, yet no such equivalent for the vagina.
While digital models exist, including the virtual Vagina Museum project from Austrian artist Kerstin Rajnar, this is the first-ever blocks and mortar museum committed to the vagina and vulva.
“The Vagina Museum is so important because this area of the body is so stigmatised, and this has real-world consequences like people being too embarrassed to get their cervical smear,” declares Schechter.
“Our top priority is to fight the taboo that surrounds our bodies and provide a place where we can have an open and honest conversation.”
The Vagina museum exists thanks to a public fundraising drive, which observed more than 1,000 people collectively gave nearly £50,000.
The opening exhibition, which is titled “Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them” begins at the Vagina Museum on 16th of November and intends to highlight the myths that invest gynaecological anatomy, including appearance, cleanliness, periods, sex and contraception
In addition to the exposition – which is also possible to see online – exhibitions and performances will take place in the location, including comedy, theatre acts, bingo, lectures and a book club talking feminist literature.
The space also comprises leaflets and information about vagina health as well as an outreach programme to promote healthy sex and involve with medical specialists to give better services for the trans and intersex people.
The museum also has a store selling everything from vulva postcards and jewellery to vagina museum mugs.
The launch has been praised by several people including Dr Alison Wright, vice president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who defined the museum a “huge asset” in terms of progressing talks surrounding women’s health.
Meantime, Georgia Gould, the leader of Camden Council, said she was “incredibly excited” that the borough would be hosting the museum.
“Camden has a proud and radical history of challenging prejudice and orthodoxy; however, we recognise that the stigma associated with speaking about gynaecological health has meant ignorance, confusion, shame, and inadequate medical care for too many,” she said.
The Vagina Museum is located in Camden Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road and is open from 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday, and 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday.
Entry to the museum and exhibitions is free; tickets to events and performances vary.