Some sad news: The Vagina Museum – the very first of its kind in the world – is closing down.
The Bethnal Green-based gallery, which is dedicated to all things gynaecological, will be leaving its space in Victoria Park Square this week. The museum had set up shop under a property guardianship scheme, meaning that the founders were aware that they could be asked to leave at any time.
‘As a property guardianship, we have always been aware that we may be asked to leave at very short notice,’ explained the museum on Instagram. ‘We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.’ ENTER, a creative hub that shares the space with the museum, has also been asked to leave.
The free museum is now seeking new premises. Before moving to Bethnal Green, the museum was based in Camden Market. It opened in 2019 following a crowdfunding campaign which raised £50,000, as well as pop-up events at Green Man Festival, the Royal Institution, Feminist Library and Freud Museum.
Florence Schechter founded the museum after discovering Iceland’s long-running Phallological Museum, which has a collection of more than 280 penises. Her aim for the museum was to ‘erase the stigma around the body and gynaecological anatomy’. In its ten months at the Bethnal Green site, the museum has hosted exhibitions such as ‘Periods: A Brief History’.
As well as raising awareness of gynaecological anatomy and health, the museum aims to ‘promote intersectional, feminist and trans-inclusive values’.
The Vagina Museum will continue to remain operational online while it looks for a new venue.