Updated 21 November 2014

‘The Institute of Sexology’ exhibition

'The Institute of Sexology' invites you to undress your mind and join them to investigate human sexuality at 'The Institute' as they explore the most publicly discussed of private acts.

'The Institute of Sexology' exhibition in London investigates how the practice of sex research has shaped our ever-evolving attitudes towards sexual behaviour and identity. 

Featuring over 200 objects spanning art, rare archival material, erotica, film and photography, this is the first UK exhibition to bring together the pioneers of the study of sex.

You can explore everything from Alfred Kinsey's complex questionnaires to the contemporary National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal). 

Moving between pathologies of perversion and contested ideas of normality, it shows how sex has been observed, analysed and questioned from the late 19th century to the present day.

The show will also feature contemporary artworks exploring sexual identity by South African photographer and visual activist. Zanele Muholi, John Stezaker, Sharon Hayes and Timothy Archibald.

'The Institute of Sexology' will evolve over the course of the year, with new commissions, live interventions, discussions and performances within the gallery space.

‘The Institute of Sexology’ runs from 20 November to 13 September 2015 at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road in London.

Please note, should you visit, that 'The Institute of Sexology' includes exhibits and live events of a sexual nature.

For more info, visit The Wellcome Collection

The Institute of Sexology images

Carved ivory statue in the form of a copulating man and woman. Far Eastern Science Museum, London

Advertisement for the Institute for Sex Research. The Kinsey Institute

Ivory shell divides into two halves, on one half is a female genitalia, on the other is a carving of a female looking at an erotic picture. Oriental, Science Museum

Institute of sexology

Jugum penis, anti-masturbation device, steel, nickel-plated, probably British. 1880 - 1920. 


Alfred Kinsey lecturing at the University of California, Berkeley. Anonymous. The Kinsey Institute

Alfred Kinsey lecturing at the University of Cal

A gouache painting of a camel composed of copulating humans, India, 19th century

Institute of sexology

Dan and Jan Siechert, The Monkey Rocker, Bakersfield, California. From Sex Machines by Timothy Archibald Wellcome Trust.

Dan and Jan Siechert The Monkey Rocker Bakersfie

Woman riding man. Coloured postcard 1840 - 1902. Wellcome Images

Woman riding man

Collection of sexual aids, with instructions in wooden box. Science Museum, Science and Society Picture library

Collection of sexual aids, with instructions, in

Kekeletso Khena in Green Market Square, 2012. She suffered corrective rape for being a lesbian. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Institute of sexology

Masked man in pink tutu, from collection of Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840 - 1902). Wellcome Library, London

Institute of sexology

Packet of anti-baby condoms. German, 1980s. Science Museum, London

Institute of sexology

Porcelain melon containing a couple engaged in foreplay.Science Museum, Science and Society Picture Library.

porcelain melon containing a couple engaged in f

Wood and glass pillow book, hinged and folded like a concertina opening into 6 leaves with 12 pictures painted on glass. Complete with a mirror. Japanese, Science Museum, London.

Institute of sexology

Read more

Sex park sparks controversy
China sex park demolished
Love of drugs exhibition in London
Sexual communication 
Sexual orientation
Are you confident in your sexuality?


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.