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The self guided tour takes you through eight exhibit galleries where you will find exciting information on the fetish/leather subculture. Check out the vast holdings of the Terri Rose Memorial Library. Visit Randy in the Leather Bar. See a special exhibit on Leather Women in a Room of Her Own. Have a seat and watch a short film in the Leather SINS Screening Room and finish off your visit with a stop in the Museum Store and the Guest Artist Gallery.

Exhibits at the LA&M in Chicago

Fakir Musafar Exhibit

Fakir Musafar

The Father of Modern Primitives


FAKIR MUSAFAR is known worldwide for his fifty year's research and personal exploration of primitive body decoration and rituals. Fakir has introduced concepts and practices for the "body-first" approach to explore spirituality in art, body modifications, SM and what he calls "body Play.”

The Dungeon Exhibit

The Dungeon

How else could you display history this perverse?


What was once the main boiler room of the LA&M is now the DUNGEON exhibit, which exists to display artifacts from the institution’s collections in an erotic and sexually charged environment. How else could you display history this perverse? Opened in 2009 the Dungeon is one of the LA&M’s most popular exhibits.

The Leatherbar

The Leatherbar

Join Randy and Roxanne for a stiff one


Leather bars started appearing in San Francisco, New York and Chicago in the late 1950s. Many gay men used, and continue to use, these centers of masculinity as an entryway to the leather community. For many men, the clientele of these bars was preferred over the sweaters, perfumes and effeminism of the men in other gay bars. The dirty bikers and rough leathermen (at least in appearance) brooded the sexual atmosphere of the bar.

A Room of Her Own

A Room of Her Own

An exhibit for the Women’s Leather History Project


As I began work for the first exhibit installation of the Women’s Leather History Project, I was excited that we were both literally and figuratively making room for Leatherwomen’s history in the LA&M. It was out of this line of thinking that “A Room of Her Own” emerged, building on Virginia Woolf’s 1929 feminist text that argues for women’s need for space to think and create. - Alex Warner, Curator.

The Etienne Auditorium

The Etienne Auditorium

Home to many murals by the artist Etienne


The auditorium is used for the LA&M film series, CineKink, Pantheon of Leather Awards, demonstrations, lectures, community meetings and is always available for leather clubs and groups to use free of charge including the Chicago Leather Kennel Club, Windy City Boys Troop, The Next Generation Chicago (TNGC), Chicago Leather Club and Chicago Hellfire Club among others.

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Other exhibits and spaces

The self guided tour takes you through eight exhibit galleries


Friendship pins, started as tokens of affection and affiliation between clubs. “A Point in History” highlights certain time periods throughout leather history. Started by Tony DeBlasé, publisher of Drummer Magazine, the time-line shows us that BDSM has a vast history since the beginning of time. The Brad Grauman Gallery, this exhibit space is mainly for the display of large banners from clubs and bars from around the world but it also hosts one of our newest exhibits, The Bondage Exhibit. Leathers Collection/Uniforms Room, leathers and boots which hold historical significance are archived at the LA&M. The Leather SINS Screening Room, This upscale and contemporary screening room houses the institution's vast audio/video collection and runs clips from that collection during regular museum hours.  International Mr. Leather and International Ms. Leather Exhibits and the Last Supper in a Leather Bar.

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