The Art of the Striptease on Display at the Burlesque Hall of Fame

In Las Vegas’ Art District resides the Burlesque Hall of Fame, here one can learn the origins of burlesque and even try their hand at performing, as it’s also a school so this unique art form can live on.

A red and black lighted sign reads "Burlesque Hall of Fame

A large poster features images of scantily clad women and reads "Burlesque Hall of Fame"

The road to the museum that exists today is long and dusty and begins with Jennie Lee, a dancer who founded the Exotic Dancers’ League in the 1950s, which focused on getting better pay for performers. Lee began saving and collecting items from her fellow dancers, and displayed them at her bar, Sassy Lassy, in San Pedro, California. Later Lee moved to Helendale, transforming a dusty old goat farm off of Route 66 into Exotic World a museum, school, and had long term goals to have housing for retired dancers. When Lee passed away Dixie Evans, a friend and performer continued with the museum, and even started the Miss Exotic World competition for publicity. Soon Exotic World was becoming a must-visit destination for the rising neo-burlesque movement of the 1990s.

In 2005 Exotic World suffered extensive destruction as the result of a storm, and reopening seemed impossible. But performers and fans arrived to save the artifacts, transporting them to Las Vegas, where Exotic World transitioned to become the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Here, a timeline showcases the birth of burlesque (burlesque in its purest form is parody, which is why humor is a key element of many performances) through to the contemporary art form we know today, with a variety of photos, programs, costumes, and props, including Dita Von Teese’s large martini glass from 2000. They also offer classes so the unique art of burlesque can continue well into the future.

A photo wall featuring various burlesque performers and text reading "Spectacular, Erotic, and Slightly Shocking: A Timeline

Overall view of a portion of the timeline featuring images of burlesque stars through the years.

A program from Star and Garter, featuring an image of a scantily clad woman, and text reading "Michael Todd's Star and Garter with Bobby Clark Gypsy Rose Lee Prof. Lamberti Staged by Hassard Short"

Various costumes worn by a variety of performers.

View of a wall of autographed photos of burlesque stars.

A white sequin G-string, with a plaque reading "G-string worn by Tempest Storm Burlesque's Las Great Superstar"

A display case features artifacts of burlesque performers, with a TV above and framed photographs signed by burlesque performers.

A blue sign reads "Museum Honk Horn Three Times" with an arrow, and surrounded by framed autographed photos of burlesque stars.

An arch reads "Miss Exotic World" in large red letters.

A yellow ensemble of a lace trim jacket and large hat with feathers, worn by Venus De Light, made by Hedy Jo Star.

Gold dipped Texas Lettuce necklace and chili pepper earrings given to Dixie Evans in 1993 by Candy Barr.

Wall of various autographed photos of burlesque stars.

A red sign with white text reading "Jeannie Lee's School for Strippers"

Close-up of Lili St. Cyr's autographed photo.

A yellow dressing gown with sequin detail of a butterfly.

Close-up of Dita Von Teese's large martini glass.

A blue sequin outfit with large feathers, worn by Lana Wong, made by Marta Gates.

A pair of gun shaped pasties mounted on a wall among other pasties, with a plaque reading Silk E Gunz.

I especially got a kick out of their donor wall, which is made up of pasties, featuring a variety of different styles.

Relive the glitz and glamor of burlesque’s unique history at the Burlesque Hall of Fame at 1027 S. Main Street #110 in Las Vegas. Learn more, including purchasing tickets ahead of time on their website.

Other Las Vegas Destinations

Diamonds are Forever Filming Locations

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

The Mob Museum

The National Atomic Testing Museum

The Neon Museum

Twilight Zone Mini Golf

“About” Burlesque Hall of Fame.

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