After losing its lease during the pandemic and closing in fall 2020, London's Vagina Museum is poised to make its glorious return in a bigger and better venue on March 19.
The world's only museum dedicated to "vaginas, vulvas, and the gynecological anatomy" first opened in Camden Market in 2019. The museum's queer founder and director, Florence Schecter, was inspired by learning that there was a penis museum in Iceland, but no equivalent for vaginas. Schecter set about to create a project that challenges the stigma and misinformation around vaginas but to do so in a queer and trans-inclusive way.
However, in September of the following year, the museum announced that its landlord had opted not to renew its lease, turning the Camden location into a clothing store instead.
The museum immediately began looking for a new location and ultimately discovered one that was the perfect fit -- and three times larger -- in Bethnal Green. The Vagina Museum will now be located in Enter, a creative hub that also features a cafe, rehearsal rooms, and a performance space.
During its tenure in its original location, the museum featured two exhibitions, Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them and Periods: A Brief History. For its reopening at the new venue, the museum is bringing back an expanded version of its Periods exhibition.
"Periods have been a taboo subject within society for thousands of years," the museum explains on its website.
"Over 800 million people menstruate daily and over 50 percent of the global population will menstruate at some point in their lives, yet this natural process some bodies go through is something still shrouded in shame and stigma to this day," it continues. "This exhibition highlights just a few of the multiple facts and stories from throughout history that highlight the ongoing issues that surround periods, how they are perceived, and how a lack of understanding and provision for them has impacted on lives of people to this day."
Schecter is thrilled to be reopening to the public and continuing the museum's mission.
"During our temporary closure we've had so many people express how much they missed us," Schecter said, according to the Museums Association. "Since the beginning of this project, it's been crucial to us for the Vagina Museum to exist as a physical space. These last few months have been tough as we've searched for a new home. We're excited to become a part of the vibrant community in Bethnal Green."