Following the sudden news of the closure of the Vagina Museum back in January, there’s good news for fans of the cult museum. In the wake of being kicked out of their premises with little notice – due to operating under property guardianship terms – the museum soon found a new site. There was still a daunting task ahead, however, for the team behind the scrappy little museum. They needed to raise a considerable chunk of money to be able to afford to move into their new home.
The community rallied behind them, however, and their (still active) crowdfunding campaign smashed the goal with days to spare until the deadline. So, it’s now official: the Vagina Museum will reopen at a brand new location. Here’s hoping it can stick around for good at the new site!
And rejoice further! Because today, that new location has been announced as part of a “big opening” (not our words, the brilliant words of Florence Schechter, director of the museum) on November 4. It’ll remain in its hometown of Bethnal Green, but you’ll be able to find the new spot on Poyser Street.
To the uninitiated, the Vagina Museum may seem little more than a strange London curiosity. In fact, it’s an important source of education and myth-busting that seeks to “end the stigma and shame about vaginas and vulvas.” The Vagina Museum cites some pretty eye-opening facts that show just how important their education goals are:
- “65% of women aged 16-25 say they have a problem using the words vagina or vulva (Eve Appeal 2016).”
- “Nearly a third of women aged 16-35 say they have avoided going to the doctors altogether with gynaecological issues due to embarrassment
- (Eve Appeal 2016).”
- “Almost half of women (and more than half of men) cannot correctly label a diagram of the vulva (YouGov 2019).”
As “the world’s first bricks-and-mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and the gynaecological anatomy”, the Vagina Museum provides an invaluable service to all. And if the idea of the museum makes you squeamish, or uncomfortable, then that’s exactly why it exists. And you should probably pay it a visit when it reopens.
The Vagina Museum’s new home
The Vagina Museum will stay in East London when it reopens, as they’ve found a spot in a twin pair of railways arches. The new site offers enough space for “three galleries, an event space, and the possibility of expanding to provide a cafe”. Importantly to the team behind the museum, the Vagina Museum will be accessible, with wheelchair access a priority when it came to picking the site.
Two galleries will hold temporary displays, with the other housing the museum’s permanent display. It’ll open with an exhibition named Endometriosis: Into the Unknown, which delves into the nature of the disease, detailed research, and some common misconceptions about it.
The Vagina Museum has been offered a six-year lease for their new home, so we can breathe easy knowing it will be around for a good while yet!
Florence Schechter’s full statement read: “We’re absolutely delighted to be opening our doors to the world once again. We love a big opening! The new Vagina Museum home is bigger and better than ever before, and we can’t wait for you to visit.”
Head to the Vagina Museum’s website to find out how you can support them as they prepare to reopen in a new space.