Art & Artists
Art Basel 07
Art Basel 08
Art of Life
Basil Twist's Petrushka
Betty Tompkins
Diane Keaton Tribute
Edward Steichen
Gertrude Stein
Les Nubians
New Museum
Peek-A-Boo Revue
Pill Awards
Photogs to the Stars
Erotic Art Museum

A History of Violence

An Inconvenient Truth
Angels in America
Brokeback Mountain
Chris and Don
Little Children
Liza with a Z
Man on Wire
Notes on a Scandal
That Man: Peter Berlin
The History Boys
The Queen
The Savages
Woodstock Uncut
Morgan James
Joey Arias in Concert
Arias & Vine
Arias with a Twist
Brilliant Mistake
Candi Stanton
Diana Ross
Fight the People
Fish Circus
Fish Circus V2
Gavin Creel
Joe G's Winter Party
John Bucchino
Kevin Aviance
Lisa Shaw
Maximus 3000
Meow Meow
Paul Winter
Ute Lemper
A Chorus Line
ABT's Romeo & Juliet
August: Osage County
Avenue Q
Boeing Boeing
Coram Boy
Faith Healer
Getting Home
Grey Gardens
Heartbreak House
Joan Rivers
Journey's End
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Light in the Piazza
Marga Gomez
Mary Stuart
Movin’ Out
New York City Ballet
Rainy Days & Mondays
Rent 10
Some Men
Spelling Bee
Spring Awakening
Sunday in the Park
Sweeney Todd
The Little Dog Laughed
The Seagull
The Vertical Hour
Threepenny Opera
Times They Are A-Changin
Trailer Park
Wall to Wall Broadway
Photo Credit :: MRNY
Arts & Entertainment
The Erotic Josephine Baker
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
February 2008   photo-album 
Share |

She kept a pet leopard named Chiquita.  She prowled the stages of Paris.  She performed the banana dance.  She was Josephine Baker, the “most beautiful of panthers”—and given her sinuous dancing and her sexy singing, it’s fitting that, in honor of Black History Month, she’s the star of a mini-exhibition at the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami Beach (also fitting, given that Baker’s European success coincided with the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs, which produced the name "Art Deco").

At 12,000 square feet, and crammed with a range of Victorian, pin-up, folk, surreal, gay, fetish, interracial, and saloon erotica, the World Erotic Art Museum is the world’s largest public view collection of erotic art.  With thousands of titillating (and often jaw-dropping) pieces of erotica, the collection includes a giant ten-foot, gold-leafed phallus, numerous photographs of Marilyn, a Danish lithograph of four nude Beatles—as well as the murderous white fiberglass phallus from the film A Clockwork Orange.  Sometimes kitschy, sometimes in questionable taste, but never less than fascinating, the collection is an ongoing reminder of, interestingly enough, our humanity—with our sensuality as our common bond.  Or as president and curator, Naomi Wilzig (aka Miss Naomi) likes to say, “the harmony of mankind in its most natural state.” 

To mark the occasion of Baker’s residency at the WEAM, members of the cast of Absinthe (now playing its final week at Spiegeltent in Miami Beach) showed up to find their own natural state amongst Wilzig’s collection—and perhaps it was no surprise that the fit was perfect.  Whether straddling a phallus or cozying up on a four-phallus (rather than four-poster) bed, the Absinthe cast members assumed the position with ease—as well as with leers, lip smacking, and come-hither glances, all of which did Josephine Baker proud.

Do yourself a favor and make a trek to WEAM—and get in touch with your own inner panther, in honor of Josephine Baker.