Will Erotic Art Museum’s ‘Depraved’ Collection Head to Germany?

A work from the collection of the World Erotic Art Museum, billed as a Rembrandt.
A work from the collection of the World Erotic Art Museum, billed as a Rembrandt.

The 4,000-piece collection of Miami’s World Erotic Art Museum may be headed to Germany, the former home of parts of its collection before the Nazis’ purge of “degenerate” art, according to the New York Daily News.

A statement on the museum’s website from Andreas Krass, of the Archive of Sexology Research Center, indicates that talks about moving the collection to Humboldt University in Berlin have been underway since 2014.

The 10-year-old museum boasts works by Hans Bellmer, Fernando Botero, Robert Mapplethorpe, Pablo Picasso, and Rembrandt van Rijn among its holdings. It was founded with the collection of Naomi Wilzig, who died in April at 81. She was the widow of banker Siggi Wilzig, a Holocaust survivor, according to his obituary in the New York Times. He later served on the Holocaust Memorial Council in Washington, DC.

“Just like Germany has come full circle, not only are Jews welcomed back in Germany, but the ‘depraved’ art that Hitler wanted destroyed is wanted back in Germany,” Ivan Wilzig, who inherited the museum along with his brother Alan and sister Sherry, told the Daily News, adding that parts of the collection may remain in the US.

Neither the university nor the museum immediately responded to requests for confirmation.

Founded in 1810, Humboldt University was founded by Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Prussian philosopher and diplomat. The school currently hosts over 30,000 students in areas of study including arts and humanities, economics and business administration, law, and theology.

The museum promises that its exhibition of works by New York artist Mark Kostabi will provide a major highlight of this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach art fair, which could be interesting, except that the opening for the exhibition is dated December 1, 2014.

Related stories:

New Institute of Sexology Celebrates History of Erotic Art, Film, Photography

How Erotic Can Fine Art Get Before it Becomes Pornographic?

Erotica Exhibition Makes Waves in Switzerland


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