An Unorthodox Collection

By Adam Stern

Published October 14, 2005, issue of October 14, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Okay, here’s one: What do the Orthodox Union, Miami Beach and a large fiberglass phallus have in common?

For those hopelessly in the dark, the answer to the riddle is Naomi Wilzig, the 70-year-old founder of the World Erotic Art Museum. Set to open this Sunday in Miami Beach, Fla., the museum will house works culled from Wilzig’s private collection of erotica. At 4,000 pieces, it is one of the largest such collections in the United States. The museum’s Web site (www.weam.com) boasts that it is the “world’s largest public view collection of erotic art.”

Raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, Wilzig — a onetime honoree of the Orthodox Union’s women’s division — began collecting erotic art after her eldest son, Ivan, a recording artist, asked her to help him furnish a new apartment with some “conversation pieces.” What began as a housewarming gift quickly turned into a passion. Aware of the controversy that her interest might engender in her Orthodox New Jersey community, Wilzig made sure to keep her art in Florida. In the Miami Sun Post, she commented that she “never put it up in Jersey because rabbis and community leaders came to visit regularly.”

However, Wilzig’s Jewish identity is not completely absent from this otherwise ecumenical collection. One of her favorite pieces is “a sculpture of Adam being created out of dust of earth, suspended in time and space,” she told the Forward. Also on display are a sculpture of Adam and Eve from the Bezalel School in Israel and a metal sculpture of a kneeling nude that, according to Wilzig, looks like a Kiddush cup. L’Chaim!






Find us on Facebook!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.