Some years back, Naomi Wilzig thought her doctor, an Orthodox Jew, would criticize her
for growing hobby of collecting erotic art. The doctor's response to Wilzig's unique
passion? Whatever makes you get up and go each day, and is a challenge for your life,
and gives you an interest, is what keeps you healthy and young."
Wilzig has a lot of reasons to get up each day. She is the founder and owner of the World
Erotic Art Museum in Miami Beach. She is well-known and respected in the art world as an
authority on erotic art. She has a thriving family of children and grandchildren. And she's
about to add another item to the list-the Naomi Wilzig Art and Charity Foundation, which
she's launching in celebration of her 75th birthday.
Wilzig's passion for erotic art began more than 20 years ago, when her eldest son, Sir
Ivan, a recording artist, asked her to pick out a few erotic art pieces for his swanky new
"I've always been very busy, but I'm very organized,” says Wilzig. “I've always been very
lucky that whatever I've tried to do, I've been fairly successful."
With all of Wilzig's accomplishments-raising a family, writing five books, opening a
museum-she sees her latest endeavor as the next logical step. The foundation will be an
umbrella organization that will give funds to local organizations in need, including hospi-
tals, cancer research, cancer care, AIDS programs, and Holocaust foundations.
Wilzig, who always loved collecting antiques, discovered a whole new avenue of collect-
ing, which lead her down a new life path of self-discovery.
The Jewish grandmother traveled the world collecting erotic art pieces and amassed one
of the largest collections in the world. Along the way, she reinvented herself as a force in
the art world, the Queen of Erotic Art, as Ivan dubbed her.
NAOMI WILZIG (1934-2015) - Obituary
Dr. h.c. Naomi Wilzig (December 5, 1934 - April 7, 2015)
As a collector, a patron of the arts, and the director of the World Erotic Art Museum
(WEAM) in Miami, Naomi Wilzig achieved great fame, popularity and recognition. Her col-
lection of erotic art is an internationally significant document of the cultural history of sex-
uality. In 2011 the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco
bestowed an honorary doctorate upon her in respect of her achievements.
The WEAM was her life's greatest work. It is the only collection of erotic art to date that
has been developed by a woman, on account of which the American press lovingly pro-
claimed her to be the 'Queen of Erotic Art.'
Naomi Wilzig was the widow of the industrial magnate and banker Siegbert Wilzig
(1926-2003), a Holocaust survivor who emigrated to the USA after being liberated from
Auschwitz. Mrs Wilzig, who grew up in an orthodox Jewish family, dedicated a volume of
poetry to her husband and engaged herself energetically on the behalf of the Holocaust
memorial in Miami.
In the 1980s she began collecting works of erotic art and documents relating to the
cultural history of sexuality with passion and an uninhibited curiosity. Through the constant
study of specialist literature she achieved a level of expertise in the field that was
admired and sought after in all corners. She based her collection upon historical role
models, and was particularly inspired by the Bilderlexikon der Erotik (Vienna, 1928),
which drew from Magnus Hirschfeld and his museum of the history of sexuality in the
Berliner Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (1919-1933).
In 2005 Naomi Wilzig founded her museum, which has since achieved global fame, in the
heart of Miami Beach in order to make her collection available to the public. A constant
presence in travel guides and one of the main attractions of the city, the WEAM tells a
special story of humanity. Naomi Wilzig presented her collection with the aim of imparting
a historically and culturally comprehensive picture of erotic art. She explained that she
wanted to evoke the sensual experience of the pleasure and pain of love, and also wanted
to send a message of tolerance in acknowledgement of the community and diversity of
Naomi Wilzig was a loveable, intelligent and self-confident woman, a tirelessly active museum
director, an impressive and engaged host, and a generous patron. Last year she surprised
the guests at her 80th birthday party with a high quality can-can show from Paris, and the
next day she donated a valuable Torah to her local Jewish community.