Intimate Worlds

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A series of items drawn from the Wellcome Collection which reflect on of the value and significance of sex.

Ivory okimono of copulating couple, Japan, Late19th century

Between 1900 and 1936, pharmaceutical billionaire Sir Henry Wellcome amassed over a million objects for his Museum of Medical History - a substantial proportion of which related to human sexuality.

Wellcome believed these historical artefacts had the potential to reveal how sex has been understood and represented over time and across cultures.

Displayed together they prompt a consideration of many differing aspects of sexuality, from censorship, fertility and contraception to the boundaries between childhood and adulthood, as well as other contemporary issues. 

Venue information

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm

Closed Mon and Bank Holidays

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)