The Vagina Museum is seeking a new home after being told to vacate its current site in Bethnal Green, east London, by the end of the week.
The museum had been occupying the premises under a property guardianship since March 2022. It moved into the site as part of a scheme by the creative hub, Enter, to open up empty buildings for creative use.
During its 10 months in Bethnal Green, the museum has welcomed almost 40,000 visitors. But the eviction means it has been forced to put its future exhibition plans on hold until it finds a new home.
"Since we went public with our situation, we've been blown away by the public support and solidarity we've received," a spokeswoman told Museums Journal. "We consider it a matter of not if, but when we find our new premises. We're open to exploring all options, including collaborations with more established museums."
This is the second time the museum has been evicted; prior to opening in Bethnal Green, it was homeless for six months after its previous landlord, Camden Market, decided not to renew its lease.
The museum was set up in 2017 as a pop-up exhibition before opening as a fixed site in 2019 with the exhibition Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How to Fight Them. The organisation is dedicated to raising awareness and erasing the stigma around gynaecological anatomy.
"As a property guardianship, we have always been aware that we may be asked to leave at very short notice," said Florence Schechter, the museum's director. "We are disappointed that this notice to vacate has come so soon."
Schechter said the museum had transformed the vacant building into a “thriving community space” that welcomed thousands of people though its doors.
“We’ve proved once again the demand for a Vagina Museum,” said Schechter. “We are an agile and resilient organisation who has overcome homelessness before and we’re optimistic that we will do so again.”
Schechter said the organisation is actively searching for a new home. “We invite anyone who can help us in this endeavour to reach out in solidarity with our vital educational work,” she said.
The museum will continue to operate online while it seeks a physical space.