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Betsy Stirratt
SOFA Gallery

Jennifer Bass
Kinsey Institute

Last modified: Monday, January 28, 2002

IU art exhibit on "Sex and Humor" features Kinsey selections

"Sex and Humor: Selections from the Kinsey Institute" will be the theme for an upcoming exhibit at the Indiana University School of Fine Arts Gallery.

The show of some 200 items from the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction collection of art, artifacts, books and photographs will be on display from Feb. 8 through March 9. Hours for the gallery are noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday.

The first of two presentations planned in conjunction with the exhibit will be a talk by John Bancroft, director of the Kinsey Institute, on "What's So Funny About Sex?" on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium near the gallery. Catherine Johnson, curator at the Kinsey Institute, will discuss the exhibition in a noon talk on Feb. 27 in the gallery.

The exhibition and both presentations will be open to the public free of charge.

Officials said the exhibit will explore the depiction of sexuality in humorous materials. Works by such well-known artists as William Hogarth, Hans Bellmer and Jean Dubuffet will be included, along with anonymously produced drawings and photographs, comic books, erotic figurines and commercially produced novelties. Explanatory panels will provide academic, historical and cultural context for the objects on display.

The School of Fine Arts Gallery previously exhibited materials from the Kinsey collection with "The Art of Desire: Erotic Treasures from the Kinsey" in 1997 and "The Kiss" in 1998.

A book titled Sex and Humor: Selections from the Kinsey Institute that was published recently by Indiana University Press will be available in conjunction with the exhibit. The book contains four scholarly essays, including one by Bancroft that provides an overview of recent literature and his personal views on sex and humor.

Other essays are by Leonore Tiefer, professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and author of Sex Is Not a Natural Act and Other Essays, writing on feminist humor; Mikita Brottman, professor of liberal arts at Maryland Institute College of Art, writing on Gershon Legman, a world-renowned authority on the dirty joke; and folklorist Frank Hoffmann discussing the popularity of the mid-20th-century erotic comic books known as "eight pagers" or "Tijuana Bibles."

Information about the exhibit and other public services of the Kinsey Institute is available at

For more information contact Jennifer Bass at the Kinsey Institute, 812-855-3037, or Betsy Stirratt at the School of Fine Arts Gallery, 812-855-8490,