Interview with the Dr Victoria Hartmaan, the Director of the Las Vegas Erotic Heritage Museum
The Las Vegas Erotic Heritage Museum is the world's largest erotic museum and Las Vegas's Sexiest Landmark since 2008! The museum was voted Thrillist 'Top Museum in Vegas 2017' and voted Trip Expert's 'Experts Choice Award 2017'. You can follow them at @EroticMuseumLV.
The Executive Director of the Las Vegas Erotica Museum is Dr. Victoria Hartmann. Dr Hartmaan is also a Board Certified Clinical Sexologist in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her experience includes providing therapeutic and educational services at rape crisis centres, academic environments, medical centres, and in private practice. You can follow her at @DoctorVictoria
1: The Erotic Heritage Museum was founded by a Preacher (the Rev. Ted McIlvenna) and a Pornographer (Harry Mohney). This seems like a very unlikely partnership. How did this happen and does their partnership still influence the museum today?
In 1962, the United Methodist Church, in cooperation with the United Church of Christ, the United Presbyterian Church, the American Baptist Church and the Southern Presbyterian Church, commissioned a study of the nature and needs of persons in early adulthood. Four cities were chosen to field the study, and The Rev. Ted Mcllvenna, a United Methodist minister with considerable social research background, was chosen to direct the San Francisco arm of the project. The issue of sexual identity, especially homosexuality, was a primary area of the project's research. The main conclusion of the findings was that one cannot understand homosexuality without understanding human sexuality. Further consultations were held at the Institute for Sex Research in Bloomington, Indiana; at the headquarters of the United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee; at the National Institutes of Mental Health in Washington, D.C.; and in London, England, with representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Culture, World Council of Churches, the British Department of Health, a representative from the Vatican, a Bishop of the Church of England, a representative of the French Ministry of Health and five delegates from the United States. At the London meeting, it was decided that persons in the helping professions were woefully lacking in knowledge about human sexuality and that a center specifically designed for training professionals should be initiated.
'The Fair Tea-Maker of Edgware Road: the Life of Lady Emma Hamilton' by Rebecca Hasenauer
You can follow Rebecca at @beckshasenauer
The first known portrait of Emma, Lady Hamilton was sketched by the daughter of a local doctor in Hawarden, Wales, when Emma was 12 years old. The little subject would become possibly the most sketched woman of her time. Paintings of Emma document her journey through the stages of nurse-maid, domestic mistress, famed ambassadress and to the notorious whore she would become. Hers would become a life recorded through portraiture.
Robert Stewart has collected vintage erotica & ephemera (photos, movies, art, writing) since 2002. Robert is the proprietor and archivist of DeltaofVenus.com, an online subscription-based archive of historical erotica. As well as collecting, Robert does his own restoration & digital transfers of erotic historical media - especially antique newsreels, and early 20th century photos.
When he's not curating and one of the largest repositories of online historic erotica, Rob enjoys consulting, gardening, and social work. You can find Robert peddling smut & history at various online locales like Twitter at @Delta_ofVenus.
1: How did you start collecting vintage pornography?
It started as a chance find of erotic photos at an estate sale. That gave me the treasure-hunting bug that comes with this hobby because they were literally tucked in a corner somewhere in an unmarked bag or cardboard box. Any collector – of anything really – knows how addictive that endorphin kick can be.
In college, I used some of that material as a springboard for projects examining antique erotica as a form of “folk art”. There was lot of curiosity and intrigue about the collection even then, which got the gears turning about how I could present it publicly someday.
Afterwards college, I lived in Portland, Oregon, and have to give a shout-out to a wonderful underground book/zine/smut shop there called Counter Media. They had not only thousands of smut mags from the 1940s through the 70s, but binders packed with antique erotica for sale from both nineteenth & twentieth centuries. It was such a great store, and a sad casualty of the recent gentrification wave that's swept the city, which is a real drag because there are so few places like it, anywhere. Being able to browse & purchase that stuff via retail in my area was a huge help. I probably owe them the most for getting the collection rolling.
Learning how to work with and restore film reels & projectors, do digital transfers, etc, came a bit later. That was the final key to starting Delta of Venus.
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