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Re: [teacherartexchange] the nude in art

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From: Jeff Pridie (jeffpridie_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Dec 08 2007 - 13:14:44 PST


Jane,

This is one of those topics that is very sensitive
depending on where you teach....how liberal or
conservative the community.

I show some nude figures in my Senior High Art History
course. They are usually sculptural or paintings. I
do limit the amount and explain ahead of time if
anyone is offended please let me know privately and I
will dismiss them to work on other work. Parents are
also notified. The district I work in has never
questioned the reasoning for me to include nude
figures but just ask me to take responsibility for
what is shown.

I do not show these to my Elementary mainly because of
the response I have gotten in the past. Elementary
students tend to loose all sense of reason and laugh,
giggle or chat to deal with their nervousness or
discomfort. I have decided that there are other art
forms to show them that they have less reaction
towards. I leave the nudes til they are older and can
handle the images.

In my high school classes we also discuss how artist
use the nude figure and how pornography has a
different purpose then classical nude studies.

Jeff (Minnesota)

> I am working on a unit for a modern art course that
> includes nudity
> in art. It is for the college level, but I wonder if
> it has
> applicability in elementary and secondary education.
>
> You can respond off line to me, or share your ideas
> with the list
>
> Have you changed your mind about including the nude
> in art since you
> began teaching?
>
> Are there any differences in your teaching about the
> nude that have
> evolved over time?
>
> Two years ago a teacher (Sydney McGee) was fired,
> with a feature of
> the dismissal based on exposing an elementary school
> student to a
> work of art during a school-sanctioned field trip.
> According to
> news reports the student told her parent about
> seeing a nude or
> nudes in the museum.
>
> (There was a later report of personnel issues that
> contributed to
> the firing, but the nude sculpture seen by the
> students during the
> tour of the museum remained as the problem that set
> the firing in
> motion).
>
> Have the McGee or other publicized issues around
> teachers and
> disciplinary actions around nudity caused you to
> choose to
> eliminate books that include nude images or museum
> trips that might
> expose students to nudity?
>
> Does your school have a permission system that
> addresses what
> students might see in museums?
>
> Do your administrators put limits on nudity in
> seeing or making art?
>
> Attitudes among art historians have been changed
> over time,
> especially in post modern times and in study of
> visual culture,
> especially by insights resulting from increased
> appreciation of a
> feminist perspective about the nude in art.
>
> Have your own ideas about the nude in art changed
> over time?Do you
> personally regard the nude differently than when you
> started to
> study art and art history?
>
> John Berger and others point out that the female
> nude, even in art,
> is not just an image representing an aspect of human
> beauty.
> Questions about appropriate female nudity in art and
> the nude
> submitted to "the male gaze" are widely discussed
> today.
>
> Any ideas to share? I can report relevant comments
> anonymously if
> you wish.
>
> Thanks, Jane in Brooklyn
>
>
>
>
>
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