“The world needs, wants, demands a museum dedicated to the vagina” - Atlas Obscura
I am sure you all must be aware about the penis museum in Iceland, but to your surprise now you can witness a Vagina Museum also which is launched on November 16th, 2019. The Vagina Museum is located in the heart of Camden Market, taking a holistic view of vaginas; the people and animals that have them, whilst highlighting cultural issues surrounding them too.
The Vagina Museum opened with a £50,000 crowdfunding campaign. This was launched in 2019 but the project started in 2017 March. The Vagina Museum has a collaboration with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It will help them to engage women in conversations about some of the taboos that exist around women's health. The aim is to educate and raise awareness of vaginal and vulvas health and fight stigmas. IS also aims to remove myths and taboos regarding woman genitals. The museum will feature art exhibitions, plays, workshops and comedy nights all centred around vaginas.
Its founder described it as "the world's first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to gynaecological anatomy."
Director Florence Schechter who decided to set it up in 2017 when she discovered that there is a penis museum also which is in Iceland's Phallological. The Penis museum houses the world's largest display of penises, had no equivalent for vulvas and vaginas.
Director Florence Schechter said," the aim of the museum is to erase the stigma around the body and gynaecological anatomy" for everyone, regardless of their race, sex or gender. The museum, which is in essence, a cultural centre, will run child-friendly programmes for families and schools. It will also offer an outreach programme to ensure children feel comfortable talking about female genitals from an early age."
She further added, "When they're ashamed of their bodies, it becomes really difficult for them to talk about things. It's about de-stigmatising this part of the body and being honest about what it does. This is a part of the body that should be celebrated. The museum is a fantastic way to spread the message that there is nothing shameful or offensive about vaginas and vulvas."
Both organisations Vagina Museum and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists shares a common mission of spreading knowledge and raise awareness of gynaecological anatomy and health.
Dr Alison Wright, vice president of the organisation said, "We believe the museum will be a huge asset to help people to understand women's health and to talk about it more openly."
The Vagina Museum's first official opening exhibition arrived on the topic -Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them.
According to a survey, about one in four women in Britain do not attend a cervical screening. With nearly three-quarters of women saying they missed the test due to embarrassment. Menstruation which is still taboo in many countries like in Nepal, they follow an illegal practice to make women banished from their homes during their periods.
The museum planned for Camden Market is meant to be an interim facility, as the founders work towards a dream of building a permanent museum-based somewhere in the UK.
The fundraising website says, "The ultimate plan is to build a permanent Vagina Museum that takes a holistic view of vaginas, from science to history to their place in culture. It will be a diverse place where there will be lots of different ways of engaging and getting involved."The museum is dedicated to being gender-inclusive and intersectional."
Zoe Williams, development and marketing manager for the museum said,"So far the response has been very, very positive. We are really overwhelmed by how many people are saying what a good idea it is. With our outreach work we want to bust myths and we really firmly believe in inclusion and acceptance for everyone."
Ms Schechter added that the museum, which will not charge for admission, will be inclusive of all genders because "not everyone who has a vagina is a woman, and not every woman has a vagina".
Important things about the Museum
- The Vagina Museum is the world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and the gynaecological anatomy. The project launched in March 2017 and ran pop-ups around the UK. The first premises opened in Camden Market in 2019 with a view to open permanent premises in a few years time.
- The director of the project is Florence Schechter who is having a background in science communication and is the founder of the Vagina Museum. Sarah is the curator and exhibitions manager with over 10 years’ experience working in a variety of museum and galleries throughout the UK, including the British Museum, Museum of London and Imperial War Museums. Development and Marketing Manager is Zoe who is communications professional with preferred to work at all levels in small organisations who make a big difference.
- The vision to open this kind of Museum is to create a world where no one is ashamed of their bodies, everyone has bodily autonomy and all of humanity works together to build a society that is free and equal.
- The mission is to spread knowledge and raise awareness of gynaecological anatomy and health. To give confidence to people to talk about issues surrounding the gynaecological anatomy and erase the stigma around the body and gynaecological anatomy. To act as a forum for feminism, women’s rights, the LGBT+ community and the intersex community. To challenge heteronormative and cisnormative behaviour. And finally to promote intersectional, feminist and trans-inclusive values.
- Location of Museum is - Unit 17&18, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH. The Museum is on the ground floor of Stables Market and is situated on a single floor, so there are no stairs.
- How to Reach here -
- By Train - Nearest stations are: Camden Town station: 5 minute walk, Chalk Farm station: 5 minute walk, Camden Road: 10 minute walk
- By Bus - Buses that stop near the Museum: Chalk Farm Road: 27, 31, 168, Ferdinand Street: 24, Chalk Farm/Morrisons: 393,Hawley Road: 88, 134, 214
- By Bicycle - There are bike racks on Chalk Farm Road. There is a Santander Cycle Hire Dock on Castlehaven Road, Hawley Crescent and Arlington Road.
- By Car - We are not within the Congestion Charge Zone or Ultra Low Emission Zone. There is very little on-street parking available. The nearest car park to the Museum is at Morrisons on Chalk Farm Road, but you will need to check with them about their terms of parking. You can also try Lomax Car Park on 38/40 Pratt Street, London, NW1 0LY.
- Opening hours - Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm, Sun: 11am - 6pm, Closed Christmas Day, Last admission 5.15pm.