Beebe Gallery at the Kinsey Institute – Bloomington, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

Beebe Gallery at the Kinsey Institute

A lesser-known part of the Kinsey Institute is this impressive collection of art, artifacts, and material culture related to human sexuality. 


The legendary Kinsey Institute, a prominent research institute at Indiana University since 1947, is well known for the pioneering work on human sexual behaviour begun by its founder and namesake, Alfred Kinsey. What fewer people know is that the institute also comprises a research collection of over a million pieces of art, artifacts, and material culture relating to human sexuality.

The collection includes artistic treasures from all around the world, and going back in history more than 2,000 years. A rotating collection of unique artworks, artifacts, documents and objects can be seen in the Beebe Gallery at the institute. These range from works by the likes of Picasso and Chagal, to a fine collection of “Tijuana Bibles” — small pornographic comic books from the 1930s and 40s — to ancient handmade Japanese books with color woodblock prints of sexual positions.

If you can’t make it to Bloomington, the Kinsey Institute Library & Special Collections also have images of some of the art and artifacts available to browse digitally.

Update October 2022: The gallery re-opened in the Kinsey Institute’s new location in Lindley Hall and was dedicated as the Dr. Caroline Beebe Gallery

Know Before You Go

The Beebe Gallery is open regularly Monday - Friday from 9:30-12:00 and 1:30 - 4:30 by appointment. Shedule your visit with the Kinsey Institute at or call 812-855-7686.

The Kinsey Institute, the Reading Room, and the Beebe Gallery are located on the 3rd floor of Lindley Hall on the IU campus. The street address is 150 S Woodlawn Ave. Lindley Hall is in the Old Crescent portion of the IU Bloomington campus, accessed by foot through the Sample Gates or from the Indiana University Memorial Union. The nearest parking is the Ballatine garage, the IMU parking lot, or IU parking lots on Indiana Avenue.

From Around the Web