Sex, Art, and Archives: The Kinsey Institute Collection

Kinsey Institute tableDuring the summer of 2010, Niki and I first exhibited Girl with a Pearl Earring [After Vermeer] in the Kinsey Institute‘s annual juried show. (See postcard in photo at right.) The day after the show opening, we visited the institute to view their permanent collection of art and found ourselves in awe and giddiness. The hallways of the institute — literally the wall space between each of the researchers’ offices — feature a rich collection of photos, paintings, drawings, and sculpture pertaining to sexuality, gender, and the body from all over the world and across an extensive spectrum of human history.

Girl with a Pearl Earring [After Vermeer]After our visit, still marveling at the magnitude of our experience, Niki and I decided to donate Girl with a Pearl Earring [After Vermeer] to the Kinsey Institute art collection.

Jumping ahead to 2014, my friend (and former Chicagoan) Ann, who oversees the University of Oregon magazine, chose to profile U of O alum Katherine Johnson-Roehr, curator of the Kinsey Institute art collection in the most recent edition of the magazine. In the article, Katherine speaks beautifully about the history of the institute’s collection and how it relates to their mission “to pursue research that produces reliable information about human sexuality, gender and human reproductive issues.” Having the acquaintance of Katherine for the past five years through various exhibitions at the institute, it was easy to speak about how her bringing more contemporary work into the collection is expanding on their mission. And from a more personal perspective, it’s really gratifying to have one of our pieces be a part of that conversation.

View Oregon Quarterly profile online ›
View pdf of Oregon Quarterly in print ›


Your turn: