Out Of The Ordinary
From sex to spying, Jewish founders
create unusual museums.
ALICE BURDICK SCHWEIGER
Special to the Jewish News
hen you think of sex and
spying, you probably
don't think museums.
But Daniel Gluck and
Milton Maltz did.
These two Jewish entrepreneurs felt
the public would enjoy a different kind
of informative and fun institution. It
seems they thought right.
Gluck opened the Museum of Sex
in New York City, and Maltz opened
the International Spy Museum in
Washington, D.C., and both attrac-
tions are drawing huge crowds.
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Despite the subject matter and graph-
ic sex, the exhibit is tasteful, says Gluck,
and the people who pay the admission
fee and walk through the door "are your
basic museum-goers who visit the
Guggenheim or the MoMA (Museum
of Modern Art) in New York"
Gluck, who earned degrees in art
and business from the University of
Pennsylvania and Wharton School of
Business, became interested in opening
a sex museum after a friend described
erotica museums in Europe as "tacky."
"It occurred to me there wasn't a
museum anywhere that explored sex
with any seriousness," he says.
Born and raised in New York, Gluck
was brought up Conservative in a
kosher Jewish home. His father, a
Belgian Holocaust survivor, worked as
a diamond wholesaler; his mother, an
Iraqi Jew from Israel, was in the cloth-
Looking ahead, Gluck says he has
In New York, Sex and the City doesn't
just mean HBO's hit TV show. It also
means the new Museum of Sex, which,
according to founder Daniel Gluck,
takes a scholarly approach.
"It's designed to enlighten peo-
ple about the social history of sex
and the role sexuality plays in
our culture, including religious
and political scandals," he says.
The current exhibit, which
runs through February 2004, is
titled "NYC Sex: How New York
City Transformed Sex in
With materials, art and para-
phernalia obtained from various
collections, the theme is New
Daniel Gluck: Sex with seriousness.
York City's sexual subcultures.
On display is a picture of
plenty of sex-related topics yet to cover.
Jewish burlesque and vaudeville come-
"Maybe sex and technology, maybe a
dienne Fanny Brice. Photos of
collaboration with a science museum.
Hollywood sex symbol Mae West,
We have lots of ideas in the works."
famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee,
Planned Parenthood advocate Margaret
Sanger and transsexual Christine
International Spy Museum
Jorgensen also adorn the walls.
Government intelligence, secret agents,
Other items of interest include a
clandestine operations and spy objects
program from the Minsky Brothers'
are what visitors can expect to find at
Burlesque House, a 19th-century
the International Spy Museum, a one-
brothel guide, original pinup art and
of-a-kind facility devoted to espionage.
French abortion instruments made in
Spanning the history of worldwide
counterintelligence, more than 2,000
A few eyebrows may be raised at the
spy artifacts, devices, videos and photos
flesh and bondage items, erotic art,
are on display in our nation's capital.
condom boxes from the early part of
Included in the permanent collection
the 20th century and explicit stag
are a KGB tiny pistol hidden in a lip-
films circa 1914. "The stag clips are
stick tube, a coat with a buttonhole
surprisingly graphic," admits Gluck.