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Garry Milius
The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction

Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kinsey Institute Gallery presents 'Private Eyes' exhibition

Jan. 19, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new exhibition at The Kinsey Institute Gallery explores the unique characteristics of homemade erotic artifacts. "Private Eyes: Amateur Works from The Kinsey Institute Collection," opens Jan. 22 and will remain on exhibit through April 2.

The exhibition was curated by Betsy Stirratt, director of the IU School of Fine Arts Gallery; Blaise Cronin, dean and Rudy Professor of Information Science, IU School of Library and Information Science; and Garry Millius, associate curator at The Kinsey Institute.

"Is it erotic? Is it pornographic? I don't know what Justice Potter Stewart ('I know it when I see it,') would have said, but it certainly is different," said Cronin.

"The 'it' is do-it-yourself pornography -- erotic artifacts that are lewd and crude, but also at times touching and playful. This multimedia exhibit is a window into a world of private lives and personal passions, heretofore rarely perceived," he said.

The one-of-a-kind items on display include drawings, paintings, carved figures, handmade cards, scrapbooks, fabric crafts and altered coins from The Kinsey Institute's permanent collection of art.

These "artworks" -- spanning the naively playful to the transgressive -- were intended for private consumption and created with specific individuals in mind, unlike mass-produced, commercially distributed pornography. To date, these materials have received scant scholarly or sociological attention. The Kinsey Institute is displaying the majority of these items for the first time.

A free, open-to-public reception for the exhibit will be Friday, Jan. 22, 5-7 p.m.

The Kinsey Institute Gallery is open from 2-4 p.m. weekdays or by appointment. Admission is free. Visitors should be 18 years of age or older, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information on The Kinsey Institute, see