Monday, April 16, 2012

Naked Before the Camera at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Oscar Gustav Rejlander, Ariadne, 1857. Albumen silver print from glass negative. Gilman Collection, Purchase, 
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005. 
Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Naked Before the Camera 
March 27 2012-September 9 2012

The depiction of the nude has always been fraught with danger. Whether depicted in ancient art or modern times, when a nude figure is seen there tends to be some controversy. The nude seem stir up desire and pleasure or anger and sin.

Why does the nude figure stir up more controversy when the nude is a photograph? Most likely it sometimes becomes an emotional subject because we then know the person being photographed willingly stood before a photographer naked. It wasn’t a sculpture or a painting with an imaginary figure, not this person sat and posed without hesitation. Censors were always a problem and  to avoid them photographers of the nude had to often called their works “studies for artists.”

Now through September 9, 2012 we can view Naked before the Camera. More than 60 images from the museum’s collections will be on display beginning with the 19th century through modern times.

"In twentieth-century art, the body became a vehicle for surreal and modernist manipulation and for intimate odes to beauty or poems to a muse. Beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s, nudity and its representation took on new meanings—as declarations of freedom from societal strictures, as assertions of individual identity, as explorations of sexuality and gender roles, and as responses to AIDS."

Read more at the Met: Naked Before the Camera

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