Shady Ladies Tours offers a different kind of museum experience

- If you like the idea of going to a museum but you have a short attention span, Shady Ladies Tours is shaking things up.

"They're used to looking at these fancy portraits of people and just seeing them as some fancy portrait," Shady Ladies founder Andrew Lear said. "It doesn't occur to them that it might be someone's mistress, it might be someone's bastard son, it might be a suffragette."

Shady Ladies Tours gives a deeper look into the juicy, salacious backstories of different exhibits. Lear walked us through the Rebel Women Defying Victorianism exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.

He told us about the woman one portrait. She was born Peter Sewally. The transgender woman worked as a prostitute in 19th century and was convicted of grand larceny.

Lear also talked about Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president in 1872, long before women could vote in New York. She was also an advocate for women to be able to marry and divorce whomever they wanted, which was very rare during that time period.

"Another scandalous thing about Woodhull is that she was actually imprisoned when she ran for president because she went to jail for obscenity because she published the details of a famous adultery scandal in her newspaper," Lear said.

The museum's curator said she sees Shady Ladies as a way to make historic exhibits relevant today.

"I feel like it's an opportunity to bring a whole new audience into the museum," Marcela Micucci said.

So the next time you're at a museum, take a closer look. You never know what story might be hiding underneath the surface. 

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