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The Museum of Sex : Linda Troeller : Self Power | Self Play


The Museum of Sex in New York presents Self Power | Self Play: 50 years of Erotic Portraiture by Linda Troeller. For half a century, artist Linda Troeller (b. 1949) has used the camera as a tool for sensual empowerment. The first museum retrospective of Troeller’s work in New York City, Self Power | Self Play will feature over sixty erotic photographs on loan from the artist’s studio and Bryn Mawr College Special Collections which highlight her radical and playful photographic practice.

Self Power | Self Play demonstrates Troeller’s early commitment to challenge social taboos and explore uninhibited sexual identity. Since 1973, when she first took a self-portrait, Troeller has strategically utilized her photographic practice to embolden female intimacy, pleasure, masturbation, and orgasm. Now in her 70s, she continues to take subversive and erotic self-portraits.

Informed by apprenticeships with major artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, and Annie Leibovitz in the 1970s and 80s, Troeller directs her lens to nature, water, and the bedroom, where she and her subjects relish in the power and play of the female-identifying body. With great care, Troeller witnesses and documents herself and her subjects in spaces of intimacy and sexual awakening. The longevity of Troeller’s practice, as well as the range of her subjects’ ages, demonstrate how pleasure endures and evolves over time.

“Marking Linda’s first museum retrospective in New York City, Self Power | Self Play highlights the dynamism and historical significance of her career,” says co-curator Emily Shoyer. “By juxtaposing images taken between 1974 and 2022 from over six different series, we hope to demonstrate how Linda has always, and continues to, bravely assert that we are all worthy of bodily liberation, autonomy, and pleasure.”

This exhibition is co-curated by Emily Shoyer (Curator at Large) and Emily Alesandrini (Guest Independent Curator). Shoyer and Alesandrini are both pursuing their doctoral studies in the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College.


About The Museum of Sex

The mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. The Museum produces exhibitions, publications and programs that bring the best of current scholarship to the widest possible audiences and is committed to encouraging public enlightenment, discourse and engagement. All guests must be 18 years or older with a valid proof of ID.


Linda Troeller : Self Power | Self Play
from October 19, 2022 through January 9, 2023
The Museum of Sex
233 Fifth Avenue (@ 27th Street)
New York NY 10016

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