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This erotic museum houses 2,000 of the most scandalous pieces of art you will ever see

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Updated November 11, 2018 01:00 PM EST

Editor's note: This article was originally published May 17. We're bringing the popular story back for your weekend reading pleasure!

MIAMI (CIRCA) - On our way out of the the World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM) in Miami, I stopped at the postcard carousel to buy a few postcards for my friends.

"You have to mail those inside envelopes, you know," cautioned the woman at the front desk. "Sometimes they send them back."

For the last few hours, I had immersed myself so deeply in a massive collection of erotic art that I had forgotten to anticipate the prudishness of the U.S. Postal Service. "That's OK, I'll still take them."

Erotic art museum

I wanted the postcards, because I wanted to alert as many people as I could to the existence of this eye-opening and inspiring museum.

Founded in 2005, WEAM is the only museum in the country dedicated exclusively to erotic fine art.

With a total collection of more than 4,000 pieces, the museum strives to expose a larger audience to erotic art, showcasing work dating from 300 B.C. to the present.

"So many people are unaware that erotic art has been created throughout the centuries. They have such a narrow-minded vision without realizing that without eroticism, without the sexual acts which are depicted, there would be no people. What the art does is visualizes the thoughts and activities of habits of people throughout the ages."
Naomi Wilzig, owner of the World Erotic Art Museum, as quoted in "The Queen of Erotic Art" by Mary Damiano

Central to the museum's mission is deconstructing narrow conceptions of sexuality.

"We have a display of art that shows the absence of hetero-normative relationships," says Robert Harbour, the museum's marketing manager. "Hetero-normative merely states that the view of human sexuality is heterosexual. The reality is that that isn't the norm."

Erotic art museum

Naomi Wilzig, who died in 2015, is largely responsible for WEMA's existence. A connoisseur of erotic art for decades, Wilzig's personal holdings comprise a significant part of the museum's collection. It spans 2,000 years and all corners of the globe. Marquee pieces include a carved phallus from the Roman empire, rare Marilyn Monroe prints and the original sculpture from Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange."

Clockwork Orange

Besides displaying the works Wilzig collected, WEAM collaborates with other institutions. In May, the museum exhibited "Kinsey Institute: Untold Stories," a collection showcasing sexual cultures outside the mainstream.

Art 🎨 #worlderoticartmuseum #miamibeach #amazing #art

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Erotic art museum

Another new gallery is dedicated to the work and collection of Magnus Hirschfeld, a German sex researcher whose art collection was destroyed by the Nazis. Humboldt University in Berlin holds most of Hirschfeld’s archives.

The World Erotic Art Museum is located at 1205 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, Florida, and is open seven days a week. Check out our Facebook Live from the museum.

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