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Best Tourist Trap Miami 2006 - The World Erotic Art Museum

Naomi Wilzig is a Jewish grandmother unlike any other. Over the course of fourteen years, she collected approximately 4000 works of erotic art and penned five books about the genre. "We look at sex as such a forbidden subject. But where would we be without it?" asks Wilzig. But the enormous phallic sculpture in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange served little purpose in her living room -- to call it a conversation piece was an understatement. So she moved the Japanese shunga prints, the portraits of a shapeshifting Zeus in prime seductive form, and renditions of coquettish Rococo ladies into a mezzanine over on Washington Avenue. There the art smolders silently over the nightclub sex circus below, just blocks from Club Madonna. The museum is open from 11:00 a.m. to midnight; admission is $15.
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18 comments
Rosa
Rosa

Cringe.................

I visited Naomi Wilzig's, World Erotic Art Museum this summer. Well, where do i start? The dusty objects laid out in the rather cold and clinical cabinets were all rather tiresome. Stuff you wouldn't look twice at if you saw it at an antiques market. The contemporary paintings were just awful and i felt Naomi Wilzig's mission statement must have read "Stick the whole lot up; quantity is quality" Most were student like attempts at misguided self expression. I admire her for what she has tried to do, however he whole atmosphere was one of un-sexy.

This is not a museum, it's a tawdry personal collection expressing an old lady's view of sexuality; Artistic cobwebs on an otherwise closed zipper, it all just lacks any imagination and thrust.

I cannot imagine for one moment that the museum makes a profit, one of the employees did give away one cryptic clue; that the World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM)was seldom busy and that Ms Wilzig's fortunes were in fact what kept it alive...i use the term 'alive' loosely!

I have since heard that Naomi Wilzig's World Erotic Art Museum will close, the Wall Street crisis and US credit crunch the likely contributors to her decision. I haven't been to Miami since August, maybe it has in fact already closed? It is on definately on the cards, and i think evident that erotic art museums do not share much of a relationship with public interest. Indeed Hustler over the road id more in tune with Miami Beach taste.Brave attempt but an obvious non-money maker / crowd puller. I would imagine if the museum gave away free $15 admission tickets it would still be empty!!!

Wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Some of the reviews above are very valid and anyone who has commented on just how fine the collection is obviously hasn't a clue about art. They just like to go along with the bullshit and the general ignorance of most Americans regarding this theme. I am a former BBC World Television presenter for the arts...so before you wonder why i am so critical? It's my job!* One dull star. Awful not Awesome.Rosa Cruz MA Hons.

Naomi Wilzig
Naomi Wilzig

The comments attributed to Naomi, Sept. 18 and Naomi Wilzig, Sept 21, were not made by me. I invite anyone who wishes, to see our "sign in" guest book to review the hundreds of positive comments made by fascinated visitors.Naomi Wilzig, owner

Naomi Wilzig of WEAM.
Naomi Wilzig of WEAM.

I've been to the WEAM numerous times, and I think it's a fanspastic collection. The art is flexible enough to explore antiquity to contemporary issues, ranging from the erotic Chinese courts to American salons. My personallie favoite works were the work of the print maker Sorayami. I believe the collection had three of his prints on display, they were all luscoius. The WEAM is a very small art space with an extensive collection, simply as that. I highly recommend it.

Michael Halsey
Michael Halsey

just for the record, at 1,200 square feet, over 400 pieces and at least 90 paintings, covering from Pompeii to Picasso this museum has something for every one, each visit has always been enjoyable, educational and entertaining. walked in with a smile and left with even bigger one......lol even took my parents, father is a minister at that .. well worth the hour(s) i have spent there .... ps ..take a look at the guest book ...pages and pages of "loved it" " amazing" " out of this world"....." a must see".

Linda
Linda

Naughty, naughty! My husband and I are presuming that the comment entered just above this one was posted by 'THE' Naomi (Naomi Wilzig), the lady who actually owns the 'World Erotic Art Museum'. That's a bit underhand, pretending you're a visitor to this comment section of the web site. There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism; visitors to this site are here to be guided towards the 'really worthwhile' attractions of fabulous South Florida; not second rate ones! Linda Murray, Ph.D

Naomi
Naomi

I've been to the WEAM numerous times, and I think it's a fantastic collection. The art is flexible enough to explore antiquity to contemporary issues, ranging from the erotic Chinese courts to American saloons. My personally favoite works were the works from the printmaker Sorayama. I believe the collection had three of his prints on display, and they were all luscious. Not to be petty, but some of the comments made so far have been ridiculous - The WEAM is a small art space with an extensive collection, simple as that. I highly recommend it.

Linda
Linda

We enjoyed our visit to Miami Beach this weekend. The World Erotic Art Museum and Naomi Wilzig's collection was okay, the bed was spectacular and a few of the European pieces were strangely interesting. Didn't quite understand why the African art was there, African pieces are generally about fertitlity and child birth and were not created to reflect eroticism. Just because there is a penis involved doesn't mean it's sexy, ask any qualified orchidectomist? I thought the Catherine the Great chair was kitsch too!!! Who ever made it didn't even try to match the gold paint of the figures stuck on with the rest of the chair; so nothing blends! I found the souvenir shop limited in its items for sale and what made me the most curious is why Naomi Wilzig feels she needs to paste her face all over the local taxi cabs; does she think the face of a 70 year old woman will draw the crowds to an erotic art museum? Sounds like an 'ego trip' to me. Overall the museum was an interesting diversion. The museum was empty of visitors which says alot! 3 stars out of a possible 10.Linda

Naomi
Naomi

Apparently Sandria Hughes doesn't or can't read signs.The Mapplethorpe poster is from a limited edition of 500 printed in Paris, for a 1981 exhibition. The Catherine the Great chair is a hand made replica of an actual chair, photographed by a German soldier at the end of World War I in a palace belonging to her, also documented in nazi holocaust records of confiscated Russian art.(not kitsch art) Sorry you don't recognize names of Picasso, Dali, Klimt, Vargas, Pal Fried, Villanis, Botero, Grosz, etc.N

N.W.
N.W.

Dear Janet Franklin,You refer to the quote, that has been retracted, in the New York Times, by Emily Nussbaum, regarding the foul-mouthed Jewish grandmother. That's quite an expert you are quoting since her review of of "Six Feet Under", the tv show, contained the following quotes: "Damn you", (3 times in the first paragraph), "sneaky streak of schmuck", "prickish boyfriend", "foul mothed Buddha wisdom", "Hysterical nag who needs to get laid", and "it gropes them for a thrill". And she judges the owner of the World Erotic Art Museum who said her landlord and architect "are crapping around" with each other, causing construction to be delayed, as foul mouthed. Webster's dictionary defines crapping as "giving up" and "abandoning an undertaking", a word too sensitive for readers of the New York Times Sunday book review, according to Emily Nussbaum's representatives. You should be more choosy about whom you quote.

Mr. L. Mcallister
Mr. L. Mcallister

Just looking over the comments and I have to respectfully say or ask, Did any of those who left dissatisfied take the time to go through the 16 rooms, Surely between the Salvador Dalis' , the Picassos', the amazing room devoted purely to African collection, I guess Rodin, Chagall, Gieger,Sorayamo, the 200+ ancient and classical pieces were common place to you?...What is this world coming to when people can find fault with the county's largest and most in depth collection will and seem to be confused with a lobby that is "small"?????? I only wish that others who enjoyed it as much as me and my wife did would go and see this gift to the community.. here is to art and those collectors who share with the rest of us

MH
MH

just for the record,

at 12,000 square feet, over 4,000 pieces and at least 900 paintings, covering from Pompeii to Picasso this museum has something for every one, each visit has always been enjoyable, educational and entertaining. walked in with a smile and left with even bigger one......lol

even took my parents, father is a minister at that ..

well worth the hour(s) i have spent there ....

ps ..take a look at the guest book ...pages and pages of "loved it" " amazing" " out of this world"....." a must see"

DG
DG

I didn't enjoy the 'World Erotic Art Museum' one bit. Naomi Wilzig's collection is grate, but also boring and dull. [This is only my personal opinion, you may like it.] The museum needs more color and more personality. The second floor concept is a joke...except it just isn't funny! Two Stars Only

Jayne DeVito
Jayne DeVito

The Naomi Wilzig Collection: We hoped for awesome, we got awful! The World Erotic Art Museum was all so dreary and colorless. A few highlights of this collection included a carved wooden bed covered in tantric sex couples and the murder weapon from the 70's movie Clockwork Orange. We found the rest rather boring. We won't go back, we won't recommend! The two star review above is being far too generous!

Jayne, NJ

Janet Franklin
Janet Franklin

My husband and I visited Naomi Wilzig�s �World Erotic Art Museum� last Memorial Day weekend and thought it was quite good. The second floor threw us a bit as we couldn�t find the entrance without asking a passer by! Thought the contemporary collection was weak with just a handful of worthwhile pieces, the rest all looked like it had been painted by second rate art students. Quite expensive to go in the museum, most museums cost under $10 to enter; this one is $15, maybe because it is not city owned. We were a bit disappointed with the collection on view, too many antiques and not enough art that provoked. Very little penetration on view also. A lot of life drawing/figure studies in the artwork, very little actual sexual activity! My husband called it decaffeinated sex? I agree with the review above, the erotic museums in Europe are far superior; we've done most of them. If we are awarding stars! Two stars. Worth a look but unlikely to give you hot flushes.

The New York Times commented:There's Naomi Wilzig, a foul-mouthed Jewish grandma and banking heiress who owns "a plastic head of Pinocchio with a penis for a nose, two carved wooden pigs having sex in the missionary position, multiple miniatures of that statue of Hercules and Diomedes by Vincenzo dei Rossi, you know the one - where they're wrestling and one of them's being held upside down and he's grabbed his opponent's penis: that one."

Sandria Hughes
Sandria Hughes

We saw the collection when we visited the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami a few weeks ago. We agree with JL and DG above, bit narrow in places and we thought the collection rather repetitive; lots of pieces very similar on display. We didn't like the second floor experience either. No real big names in Naomi Wilzig's museum; a couple i recognized, but nothing to endorse this as the world's greatest collection? Her Mapplethorpe is a litho poster? The Catherine the Great Chair is in the style of high kitsch; truly awful. Quantity does not mean quality to me? Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam museums are far superior. For an erotic museum it is all pretty unsexy! Brave effort; could do better. $15 admission???Overall bitterly dissappointed.One Star only.

Sandria H

JL
JL

My girlfriend and I visited this museum several months ago. We were taking a break from the cold weather in New York. We did like most of the work. I do agree a bit with DG about the setting. I felt the halls were too narrow to view some of the larger pieces. Overall I think that Naomi Wilzig has a good collection. It's well worth checking out.

Darron
Darron

DG must be frigid! No just kidding. We came all the way from California and wasn't too impressed with Florida until we just happened to find the World Erotic Museum. The sculptures, paintings and other examples of erotic art were examples of the beauty and value in erotic art that a large number of Americans have no clue as to it's importance in culture. We have become more and more prudish and are missing out on one of the most important part of human life.

DG
DG

I didn't enjoy the 'World Erotic Art Museum' one bit. Naomi Wilzig's collection is grate, but also boring and dull. [This is only my personal opinion, you may like it.] The museum needs more color and more personality. The second floor concept is a joke...except it just isn't funny! Two Stars Only

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