Why was nude male art so acceptable, popular and officially supported in Germany?

Why was nude male art so acceptable, popular and officially supported in Germany?

The origin of today's question is cracked.com.

In the article, 2 independent examples of naked male art (sculpture) is present:

  • Sculptures in the "Third Reich Art" exhibition (plus this and this)

  • Pin-up art on one of V- rockets at Peenemünde

What gives?

This definitely wasn't the trend in German art during Bismark time. Nor did Hitler claim to be philosophically/spiritually descendent from classical Greeks or Renaissance Italians.

Why were the Nazis so supportive of this? (by comparison, Soviets would never be so open to what they would consider "pornography"). How did this official level of acceptance come about?


This definitely is descending from the ancient Greek tradition. You should consider the following:

  • The Germans claimed that they are heirs to the European ancestry and as such their art should resemble and surpass the art of ancient epochs. As the ancient Greek and Roman art were considered the highest examples of art, the Germans tried to simulate them.

Note that this antique tradition can be seen in Soviet art as well, for example in a sculture "Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares" although the genital seems to be hidden here, which can be explained with Russian national tradition.

  • There was a serious emphasis on bodily strength and reproduction in Nazi ideology.

  • There was more tolerance to erotic art in Germany as elsewhere in the West compared to the USSR due to market demand for eroticism. If you check both German and American films of the time you will easily find a lot of erotic scenes (even outside of any political context) which would be impossible in the USSR. By contrast in the USSR all the art was considered to be an educational tool and as such could not include anything not deemed educationally positive. This included eroticism which could give rise to things not projected to exist in a future society, such as prostitution which was claimed to be eradicated. By contrast, prostitution was allowed in Germany.


You may wish to consult GERMANY'S NAKED TRUTH

Quick summary (Quoted from the website)

GERMANY'S NAKED TRUTH German socialists saw nudism as a weapon of class struggle. George Hull investigates how nudist movements grew out of the crowded, dirty cities of the late 19th century before being co-opted by the Nazis in their quest for racial purity


17 Reasons Why Germany’s Weimar Republic Was a Party-Lovers Paradise

Germany emerged from the First World War broken and disillusioned. Defeat in the Great War heralded the end of the monarchy, with the Kaiser giving way to the Weimar Republic, named after the small German city that had once been a hotbed of both artistic and scientific progress. Before long, American money was pouring into the new-look country, and people weren&rsquot afraid to spend it. Whether because they wanted to simply forget the trauma of the war or because they realized that such peace and relative prosperity was bound to come to an end sooner rather than later, the German people partied hard. Indeed, from 1923 onwards, the ‘golden age&rsquo of the Weimar Republic was characterized by its decadent parties just as much as it was for its economic troubles and weak governments.

The cabaret scene of 1920s Berlin is still famous to this day. Here, in dance halls and cabaret clubs, the old rules were tossed aside. Prussian conservatism gave way to sexual liberation, equality and hedonism. Gender rules were not just bent but smashed altogether. Indeed, some of the things that went on would even be shocking today. So, from drugs and sex to underage prostitution, gangsters and murders, here are some of the most scandalous aspects of this decadent decade:

The good times of the Weimar era in Germany were fueled by hard drugs. YouTube.

1. Cocaine was all the rage, though other drugs were legal and helped fuel the decade-long party

Germans famously love their beer. But during the heady days of the Weimar Republic, the decadent nightlife of Berlin in particular was fueled by something a lot stronger. Quite simply, the city was awash with drugs, and people of all ages were happy to experiment. Cocaine was the number one stimulant, though many people also enjoyed heroin, while tranquilizers were also taken by many, especially those who needed extra stimulation to keep up at the city&rsquos many crazed parties.

To some extent, the rise in drug-taking was down to the fact that many of the things the Germans had been used to getting a kick out of were no longer available. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, signed at the end of the First World War, Germany lost its overseas colonies as well as some important international trade routes. Tea and tobacco supplies dried up almost overnight. Luckily, other pick-me-ups were soon readily available. Almost all drugs, including cocaine and heroin, were legal to buy, and it was said that you could buy them on most Berlin streets during the 1920s. Incredibly, Weimar Germany ended up the sole consumer of Peruvian cocaine, while 80% of all the coke made by domestic pharmaceuticals ended up going up the nostrils of Berliners.

Nightclubs and cabarets were also good places to get your fix. Indeed, in Weimar Berlin, some of the most notorious establishments even gave their customers drugs upon entering. At the time, such rampant drug use was not seen to be problematic. Quite the opposite, in fact. With Germany still suffering both physically and emotionally from the Great War, countless veterans were being prescribed morphine and even heroin in order to help them deal with their pain. Even people who hadn&rsquot been to the front felt a need to get out of their heads and try and forget the national trauma.

It was only much later that drug use became linked to addiction &ndash by that point, of course, the good times of the Weimar Republic were over. Even then, however, drugs carried on fueling German society. Indeed, recent research into the Third Reich has revealed the extent to which huge numbers of Nazi soldiers were given methamphetamine, with the regime using hard drugs to try and fuel their bid for world domination.


Dada (c.1916-24) Nihilistic Anti-Art Movement

EVOLUTION OF VISUAL ART
For details of art movements
and styles, see: History of Art.
For the chronology and dates
of key events in the evolution
of visual arts around the world
see: History of Art Timeline.

What is Dada? - Characteristics and Aesthetics

The first major anti-art movement, Dada was a revolt against the culture and values which - it was believed - had caused and supported the carnage of The First World War (1914-18). It quickly developed into an anarchistic type of highly avant-garde art whose aim was to subvert and undermine the value system of the ruling establishment which had allowed the war to happen, including the arts establishment which they viewed as inextricably linked to the discredited socio-political status quo. Errupting simultaneously in 1916, in Europe and America, its leaders were typically very young, in their early twenties, and most had "opted out", avoiding conscription in the shelter of neutral cities such as New York, Zurich and Barcelona.

Portrait of Cezanne (1920)
Francis Picabia

LHOOQ (1919), Marcel Duchamp

Fountain (1917). Marcel Duchamp

As an anti-art pressure-group, it resorted to outrageous tactics to attack the established traditions of art, employing a barrage of demonstrations and manifestos, as well as exhibitions of absurdist art deliberately designed to scandalize and shock both the authorities and the general public. Centres of public Dada activities were usually small and intimate: they included the Zurich Cabaret Voltaire New York's Photo-Secession Gallery owned by the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, the Arensberg's apartment and Marius de Zaya's Modern Gallery, all in New York and the Club Dada in Berlin.

Ironically, despite its nihilistic mission, Dada led to the emergence and refinement of several important innovations in fine art, including collage and photo-montage, and went on to influence several later modern art movements, such as Surrealism and Pop-Art, as well as contemporary art styles like Nouveau Realisme, Neo-Dada, Fluxus, and several mid- 20th century art forms, such as Installation and Performance.

NOTE: For other important anti-art groups or trends like Dada, see Art Movements, Periods, Schools (from about 100 BCE).

PAINTING
For more about the evolution
of oils, acrylics, watercolours,
see: Fine Art Painting.

WORLD'S TOP PAINTERS
For biographies and works
of the best modern painters,
see: Famous painters.

WORLD'S GREATEST ARTWORKS
For a list of the Top 10 painters/
sculptors: Best Artists of All Time.

Although Dadaist ideas were already surfacing on both sides of the Atlantic, the actual name Dada was coined in Zurich in 1916. According to the poet Richard Huelsenbeck (1892-1927), the word was selected at random by himself and the painter-musician Hugo Ball (1886-1927) from a German-French dictionary. Essentially (and probably deliberately) a nonsense word, Dada means Yes-Yes in Russian, and There-There in German (universal baby-talk) while in French it means hobbyhorse. Along with Jean Arp (1887-1966) and the Romanian poet and demonic activist Tristan Tzara (1896-1963), the pair also founded the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, an early centre of multi-cultural Dada events and protest shows. Other Zurich Dada supporters included the Romanian Sculptor Marcel Janco (1895-1984), and the German painter and film-maker Hans Richter (1888-1976).

History of the Dada Movement

Dada emerged in the middle of a barbaric war, hard on the heels of the 20th century's first revolutionary art movement - Picasso and Braque's Cubism. Both the nihilism engendered by the war, and the revolutionary spirit released by Cubist art, were key factors behind the movement's growth and appeal. In fact, the first controversial work, "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2" (1912) by Marcel Duchamp, was a Cubist/Futurist work depicting the descent of a mechanistic nude, similar to a series of photo-stills. It scandalized visitors to the 1913 Armory Show in New York City - officially the International Exhibition of Modern Art and the first major exhibition of the modern trends coming out of Paris - but quickly sold, along with all four of his paintings in the show. However, Duchamp's first major Dadaist work (or protest) was his submission of his "readymade" work (a signed urinal) entitled "Fountain", to the Society of Independent Artists exhibition in Paris, in 1917. The show committee said that Fountain was not art and rejected it from the show causing an uproar amongst the Dadaists and led Duchamp to resign from the board of the Independent Artists. (Note: In 2004, 500 renowned artists and historians named the "Fountain" as "the most influential artwork of the 20th century.")

The driving force behind Zurich Dada was Tristan Tzara, aided by his volatile henchman Francis Picabia, recently returned from America and Barcelona. Together, Tzara and Picabia preached an increasingly subversive view of art and a nihilistic vision of life itself. From 1917 to 1921, they produced 8 issues of Dada magazine, which appeared in German and French. However, with the war's end, Switzerland's importance as a neutral haven declined. Richard Huelsenbeck (1892-1974), a founding member of Dada left for Berlin, Picabia went to Paris, and when Tzara followed him in 1920, the Zurich phase of Dada was over.

After World War I, Dada activists dispersed across Europe, congregating principally in Paris and Berlin. Huelsenbeck founded the Club Dada in Berlin, whose members included Johannes Baader (1876-1955), George Grosz (1893-1959), Raoul Hausmann (1886-1971) John Heartfield (Helmut Herzfeld) (1891-1968) and Hanna Hoch (1889-1979). Berlin Dada was satirical and highly political: its targets more narrowly and precisely defined than elsewhere, and its main weapons were periodicals, including Club Dada and Der Dada - both of which employed a raucous use of explosive typography and photomontage. Berlin Dada artists were noted for their use of "readymades" - especially photo-montage and early forms of assemblage - as well as their enthusiasm for technology.

Other centres of Dada activities in Germany were Cologne and Hanover. The Cologne branch (1919-20) was less political and more biased towards aesthetics, even if only in the sense of being anti-aesthetics. It included two major artists - Jean Arp and Max Ernst. The latter, along with John Heartfield, exploited satirical collage techniques using popular printed material, depicting the grotesque and the weirdly erotic, in a style which heralded Parisian Surrealism. Cologne witnessed one of the first Dada exhibitions in May 1920: an event held in the glass-roofed courtyard of a public house entered through a men's lavatory. The irreverent show was closed down by the authorities within days due to a suspected pornographic exhibit. However, it quickly reopened when the offending work was discovered to "Adam and Eve" by the great Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer.

Dada in Hanover: Kurt Schwitters' One-Man Band

In 1918, the German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) applied to join the Berlin Dadaists but was rebuffed for his unpolitical attitude. As a result he launched his own Hanover branch of Dada, with his ongoing Merz series (the word supposedly came from the German word "Kommerz" meaning commerce) of collages, reliefs and building constructions (Merzbau). Indeed, Schwitters' unique and unadulterated dedication to Dada ideas, led to a prolific output of artworks constructed with urban refuse and found objects (objets trouvés) which had a big influence on later movements like Junk Art, Assemblage and Arte Povera. Somewhat appropriately for an anti-war style of artwork, it was destroyed during an allied bombing raid in 1943.

This branch was set up by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) - see his signature style of "readymades" like Bicycle Wheel (1913, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris) - Man Ray (1890-1976), and the Cubist painter Francis Picabia (1879-1953). Duchamp and Ray also collaborated with Katherine Dreier in setting up Societe Anonyme, an association to promote the growth and appreciation of modern art in America. (It paved the way for New York's Museum of Modern Art). Another New York Dadaist was the Precisionist artist Morton Schamberg (1881-1918).

By 1921, many of the pioneers of Dada - such as Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Francis Picabia and Tristan Tzara - had arrived in Paris, where they mingled with a number of French poets like Andre Breton (1896-1966) and Louis Aragon. As a result, Paris Dada became noted for its theatrical, multi-cultural, though no less irreverent, activities. But the Dada movement proved unable to contain the diverging ideas and personalities of its members. In particular, the innovative and curious Breton fell out with nihilistic die-hards like Tzara and Picabia, and when he quit Dada to establish a new movement (which became known as Surrealism) many Dadaists followed and the movement dissolved.

Dada Philosophy Styles and Methods

Dadaist philosophy was deliberately negative. It was anti-establishment, anti-art, even anti-social in that it railed against the bourgeois society that sponsored state violence as exemplified by WWI. However, in its determination to present its nihilistic ideas in new ways, uncontaminated by the bourgeois fine art tradition, Dada actually invented a number of experimental art forms and techniques, which have contributed in several ways to the development of that tradition. This was by no means apparent at the time, as the Dada activists began to produce a string of cabaret performances, meetings designed to provoke controversy and even riots in support of their subversive agenda.

The Idea is More Important Than the Work of Art Itself

Many Dadaist events had much in common with 1960s "Happenings" and "Performance Art", and illustrated the basic motto of today's Conceptual Art that the "idea" behind a work of art is more important than the physical work itself. Hence the description of Dada as more of an "attitude" than a movement.

Early famous Dadaist works included Picabia's stuffed-monkey Portrait of Cezanne, Renoir and Rembrandt (1920), and Duchamp's picture of Leonardo's portrait of the Mona Lisa complete with beard and moustache - LHOOQ (1919) - whose name derived from the phonetic version of the French phrase "Elle a chaud au cul" - she's got a hot ass. Other scandalous items included Schamberg's "God" (1917) and Man Ray's "Gift" (1921).

Art Can Be Made of Anything

Duchamp's "readymades" ("works of art" made from "found" objects: viz, anything that comes to hand!) illustrated the Dadaist idea that art could be made from anything, no matter how ordinary. Duchamp produced his first "readymade" in 1914 when he exhibited a bottle rack, while his most famous work was his signed urinal (entitled Fountain) which he submitted to a major Parisian show in 1917. This Dadist technique of dislocating objects from their normal context and representing them as art - was used widely by later assemblage and Pop-artists.

Another Dadaist technique was photomontage - used especially by Berlin Dadaists like Raoul Hausmann - which employed illustrations and advertisements clipped from popular magazines. Refining the Cubist idea of collage, Dada artists used these clippings to construct puzzling or strikingly incongruous juxtapositions of images and letters. The ultimate Dada collage artist was Kurt Schwitters in Hanover, whose works were made from urban detritus like litter, bus tickets, sweet wrappings and other scraps.

Note: many of the most important Dadaists became surrealist artists.

Jean Arp (1887-1966): Poet and Sculptor

A former student at the Strasbourg School of Arts and Crafts (1905-7) and at the Academie Julian, Paris (1908), Arp went to Munich in 1912 where he knew Kandinsky and showed a number of semi-figurative expressionist drawings at the second Der Blaue Reiter exhibition. The following year in 1913, he exhibited at the first Autumn Salon in Berlin. In 1914, influenced by the Parisian avant-garde, via critics and artists like Guillaume Apollinaire (shortly to invent the word "Surrealism"), Max Jacob and Robert Delaunay, Arp showcased his first abstracts and paper cut-outs, and started creating shallow wooden reliefs and compositions with canvas and string. In 1916, he became a pioneer member of Zurich Dada in Zurich, participated in the 1920 Berlin Dada exhibition and later went to Hanover to visit Schwitters. Highly experimental, he explored geometric abstraction as well as Dadaist styles, and later joined the Surrealist movement.

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968): Avant-Garde Artist

One of Europe's most radical 20th century painters, and a founder of Junk Art, Duchamp's first outstanding if controversial work was "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2" (1912), which exemplified the style of analytical Cubism in a manner which anticipated later Futurist forms. Exempted from wartime conscription, he fled to New York where his blasphemous "Fountain" (1917) and LHOOQ (1919) became classic Dada works, as did his ever more complex "readymades" including "The Large Glass." His reputation as the leading European contemporary artist led Peggy Guggenheim and other influential buyers to rely on him for advice about art investments. He also met the versatile genius Man Ray, and together with Henri-Pierre Roché and Beatrice Wood, published the New York Dadaist periodical "The Blind Man." In 1918, Duchamp quit the art scene, and travelled to Buenos Aires for several months where he played chess. In 1923 he returned to Paris, but neither participated in Dada, nor continued as a full-time artist. Instead, he devoted himself to chess, and some collaborative projects, dividing his time between France and America.

Max Ernst (1891-1976): Painter, Sculptor, Graphic artist, Poet

A lifelong friend of Jean Arp, Ernst was a prolific, highly experimental artist and, after serving in World War I, he became one of the pioneers of both Dada (he founded the Cologne branch) and Surrealism. During his Surrealist phase he was noted for his invention of frottage (rubbing textured surfaces) and decalcomania (liquid paint patterns). For details, see: Surrealism.

Raoul Hausmann (1886-1971): Painter, Photographer

Raoul Hausmann was a leading member of the satirical and highly political Berlin branch of Dada, where in 1918 he pioneered the technique of photomontage - the art of affixing and juxtaposing photographs or other "found" illustrative material onto a flat surface, not unlike an embellished type of collage. Hausmann eventually quit painting towards the end of the Dada movement in favour of fine art photography. See also: Is Photography Art?

Man Ray (1890�): Painter, Photographer

Born Emmanuel Radnitzky in Philadelphia and raised in New York, Man Ray had his first solo show of paintings and drawings in 1915. His first Dada-style work, an assemblage he called "Self-Portrait", was shown in 1916. After meeting Marcel Duchamp, he founded the American branch of the Dada movement, and co-founded a contemporary arts group known as the Others. In 1921, disillusioned with the reception given to Dadaist ideas by New Yorkers he left America to live and work in Paris, where he created one of his best known Dadaist artworks: "Indestructible Object" (1923), a metronome with a photo of an eye attached to its clicking arm. He also taught himself the art of photography, rapidly becoming one of the greatest photographers in Europe. By the time Dada dissolved, Ray was already an active Surrealist.

Francis Picabia (1879-1953): Painter, Avant-Garde Artist

A volatile, anarchic character, François Marie Martinez Picabia was (ironically) one of the few avant-garde artists to be financially independent, due to his father's wealth and position as a Cuban diplomat. In 1911, after flirting with Impressionism and Cubism, he joined the Puteaux and Section d'Or group, becoming friends with Marcel Duchamp and Guillaume Apollinaire. Other members of the group included the Cubists Albert Gleizes, Roger de La Fresnaye, Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger. In 1913, Picabia travelled to New York where his work was included in the Armory Show. Afterwards Alfred Stieglitz staged a solo exhibition for him, at Gallery 291. Around this time Picabia began making satirical mechanistic images (his noted "portraits mécaniques"), a series he continued with during the war which he spent mainly in Barcelona, although he made contact with Dadaists in Zurich. As a result of his attraction to the Zurich avant-garde, he launched his Dada periodical "391". After the war, Picabia became a convinced Dadaist: first in Zurich alongside Tristan Tzara, then in Paris. However, his enthusiasm for its nihilistic stance eventually waned, and when he fell out with Tzara and joined the Surrealism school, Dada dissolved.

Tristan Tzara (1896-1963): Avant-Garde Activist

The nihilist Tristan Tzara (aka Samuel Rosenstock) was an avant-garde Romanian poet and performance artist, as well as a journalist, playwright, art critic, and film director. He became one of the pioneer activists of Dada in Zurich, where his shows at the Cabaret Voltaire and Zunfthaus zur Waag, as well as his writings and manifestos, were the driving features of extremist Dadaism. In 1919, Tzara moved to Paris where he joined the staff of Littérature magazine. Unfortunately, his heated personality and uncompromising activism led him into a series of conflicts within the Dada movement, both in France and Romania. Although he never actually left Dada (it dissolved while he was still a member), he too eventually took up Surrealism.

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948): Collage Artist

The pioneering, poetic, romantic loner Kurt Schwitters was one of the few purists in the Dada movement. Based in Hanover, where he founded his own branch of Dada, he became renowned for using fragments of refuse with which to make sense of a world that he found politically, culturally and socially mad. Despite this, he had no political views, and almost all his work was personal or autobiographical. Although he produced a few high quality traditional paintings and sculptures, he never really deviated from his avant-garde Dadaist-style collages and paper constructions, which eventually took over his house.

Noted Dada collections can be seen at:

- Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
- Tate Modern Gallery, London
- Museum of Modern Art, New York
- Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

For Neo-Dada works and other avant-garde postmodernist works, see: Best Contemporary Art Festivals.

Dada styles and ideas affected numerous other 20th century movements, including Surrealism, Pop-Art and Fluxus, as well as several contemporary artforms like assemblage, installation and performance. It may also be said to have anticipated several key concepts of postmodernist art. In the 1950s and 1960s, some American artists like Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), Claes Oldenburg (b.1929), Jasper Johns (b.1930) and Jim Dine (b.1935) even used the term "Neo-Dada art" to describe their "anti-aesthetic" works which used modern materials, popular iconography, and absurdist content. See also the work of some European artists, like the Swiss kinetic sculptor Jean Tinguely (1925-1991). In early 2002, an international group of anarchic artists (the Kroesos foundation) were also dubbed "Neo-Dadaists" when they took over the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich until their eviction three months later.

• For post-1860 artworks, see Modern Art.
• For more about the evolution of painting/sculpture, see: Visual Arts Encyclopedia.


Art in Nazi Germany

Art, along with architecture, music and films, was heavily shaped by Nazi ideology once Hitler gained power on January 30 th 1933. Hitler considered himself to be very knowledgeable with regards to art and effectively decided that there were two forms of art – un-German degenerate art of the likes of Pablo Picasso and classical realistic art that represented all that was good about Nazi Germany and Germans.

Weimar Germany was famous for the artists that worked there. Various forms of art excelled in Weimar – expressionism, Dada, cubism and impressionism. The focal point in Germany of the art world’s attention was the Bauhaus where artists such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and George Grosz all worked.

Hitler had stated clearly in ‘Mein Kampf’ where his thoughts lay with regards to modern art as found in Dada and cubism:

“This art is the sick production of crazy people. Pity the people who are no longer able to control this sickness”

In his own mind, the new art forms all stemmed from the USSR and according to Hitler were even found for a very short time in the Bavarian Soviet Republic in the early days of the Weimar Republic.

Hitler preferred the romantic form of art. He stated that a finished picture should never display anguish, distress or pain. They had to be realistic and heroic. Hitler believed that good artists should use colour in their paintings that “was different to those perceived in Nature by the normal eye.” Hitler wanted paintings to display “the true German spirit” and he preferred the work of artists such as Franz von Defregger, an Austrian who specialised in painting scenes of traditional Austrian rural life.

Once he was made Chancellor, Hitler was in the perfect position to enforce his artistic values on the whole of Nazi Germany. The March 1933 Enabling Act gave him the legal basis to do this. Hitler created the Reich Chamber of Culture headed by Joseph Goebbels. This organisation was split into seven sections: fine arts, music, theatre, literature, press, radio and film. Each one of these was required to put Gleichschaltung into the way they operated – Hitler’s desired for coordination of the German population.

42,000 artists were given government approval but they were required to join the Reich Chamber of Visual Arts. The rules of the chamber were backed by law. Artists were not allowed to be “politically unreliable” and could be expelled from the chamber if they were. If they were expelled they were forbidden to paint, forbidden to teach and were deprived of the right to exhibit their work. Shops that sold paintings were given a list of approved artists and artists who had been banned for “political unreliability”. The Gestapo made surprise unannounced visits to art studios to ensure that they were doing all that was required of them – painting as the state required them to paint.

Many artists left Nazi Germany as they were unable to work under such conditions. Klee left for Switzerland, Kandinsky went to Paris, Kokoschka left for England while Grosz emigrated to the United States of America. They were all labelled as “purveyors of non-German art”.

Just months into his Chancellorship, Hitler ordered a display of “degenerate art” at Karlsruhe. It was to serve as a warning as to what was not acceptable. In 1936, Hitler created a tribunal made up of four Nazi-approved artists who were tasked with touring galleries and museums and removing “decadent art”. In total the four men removed 12,890 pieces of art including sculptures deemed degenerate or decadent. One of the men on the tribunal, Count von Baudissen made his views quite clear

“The most perfect shape…it is the steel helmet.”

The removed art was put on display in Munich on March 31 st 1936. The ‘degenerate art’ contained works by Picasso, Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Nearby to the display was an exhibition of 900 pieces of approved art known as the Greater German Art Exhibition.

To encourage German artists to develop acceptable methods of painting, Hitler introduced several hundred art competitions with good financial rewards for the winners.

World War Two gave Hitler and other senior Nazis the opportunity to plunder art from the museums of countries under Nazi occupation. Over 5,000 works of art by the likes of Rubens, Goya and Rembrandt were sent back to Berlin.


Key Artists


A Very German Idea of Freedom: Nude Ping-Pong, Nude Sledding, Nude Just About Anything

BERLIN — The first time Michael Adamski saw his mother-in-law naked it was awkward.

But it wasn’t as awkward as seeing his boss naked.

Mr. Adamski, a police officer in Berlin who investigates organized crime, first started going to a nudist camp at a lake outside Berlin after he met his wife, whose family owned a cabin there.

One weekend, when he had just about gotten used to stripping in front of his in-laws, he bumped into the highest-ranking colonel in his precinct — who promptly challenged him to a game of table tennis.

They have been on first-name terms ever since.

“Once you’ve played Ping-Pong with someone naked, you can’t call them ‘colonel’ anymore,” Mr. Adamski said as he prepared to join a triathlon where the swimming and running portions of the race were naked. “Nudity is a great leveler.”

Image

Germans love to get naked. They have been getting naked in public for over a hundred years, when early naturists rebelled against the grime of industrialization and then the mass slaughter of World War I.

“Free body culture” — basically bathing the whole body in water and sunlight while preferably also doing some exercise — became the battle cry for a healthy, harmonious lifestyle and an antidote to a destructive modernity.

Mr. Adamski’s camp, founded in 1921, was the first licensed nudist club on a lakeside in the country. Nearly 100 years later, entire stretches of German waterfronts are designated as nudist beaches. There is a nudist hiking trail. There are sporting events from nude yoga to nude sledding. German saunas are mixed and naked. People regularly take their clothes off on television, too.

To a relative newcomer, like my British husband, all this nudity can be disconcerting. When I took him to a sauna a short drive south of Berlin the other day, he didn’t know where to look.

Naked bodies floated on top of the water in the saline pool and lounged on submerged seats around the pool bar. They lined up for ice cream in the garden area, wearing only flip flops and sun hats and in one case a T-shirt (but no pants).

Just when we thought we had seen it all, it was time for Zumba in the main pool. Naked.

I knew I had to write something about naked Germans when I happened upon a whole field of them sunbathing on my way to work. This was in the Tiergarten, Berlin’s equivalent of Central Park, which runs adjacent to the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel, herself a longstanding sauna fan.

One story Germans love telling about Ms. Merkel is that the night the Berlin Wall fell, she stuck to her weekly sauna appointment before heading across to the West for a taste of freedom.

Maybe that’s because in Germany getting naked has itself quite a lot to do with fighting repression.

“It’s all about freedom,” said John C. Kornblum, a former United States ambassador to Germany, who has lived here on and off since the 1960s, and was once shouted at by a naked German for not taking off his swimming shorts in a whirlpool.

“Germans are both afraid of freedom and deeply desire it,” Mr. Kornblum said. “But hierarchy and rules are so embedded that direct political or social dissonance is simply not thinkable.”

“When people walk down the beach naked, it allows them to feel a little rebellious,” he said.

The Nazis tried to root out nudism, and so did the Communists, briefly. To no avail.

A lot of Germans don’t get naked in public, but nudists are ubiquitous enough that the practice has entered the national psyche.

“Most Germans find it totally normal to be naked in the sauna, see bare breasts on the beach and naked children in the paddling pool,” said Prof. Maren Möhring, a cultural historian and nudism expert at Leipzig University.

Although there are nudists around the world, no other country has developed a mass nudist movement, Professor Möhring said. “It is a German exception,” she said.

And when someone, somewhere, tries to change the taboo against nudity, that person is likely German, Professor Möhring added.

The first nudist congress in New York was organized by a German immigrant, she said. German nudists also tried to colonize pockets of South America.

It’s not just my husband and a lot of Americans who struggle with nudity.

A few years ago, the German beach resort of Ahlbeck on the Baltic Sea agreed to move its nudist beach 200 meters westward, away from the border with Poland — “to stop irritating Polish beach goers,” explained Karina Schulz of the local tourism board. In theory the border was invisible after Poland joined the European Union. In practice there was a neat divide between (Polish) swimwear and (German) skin.

One key to Germany’s relaxed attitude toward nudity, said Professor Möhring, is that from the start nudism was sold as something utterly asexual. Bikinis, the argument went, sexualize the body. “Nudism is about the cult of the natural,” she explained.

Or as Stefan Wolle put it: “It’s the most unerotic thing in the world.” Mr. Wolle helped curate an installation about nudism at the D.D.R. Museum in Berlin, which features exhibitions about life under Communism in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, as East Germany was known.

Being bombarded daily with often-photoshopped images of models’ bodies in social media posts and ads, it was an eye-opener for me to hang out with a cross-section of naked people in the real world. As my husband remarked in the sauna: “The perfect body does not exist.”

At the same time, all those naked Germans I encountered while writing this article appeared happy and unselfconscious.

On the Baltic coast one recent morning, I asked Tina Müller, a 39-year-old mother of two, why she felt the urge to get naked. She promptly returned the question: “Why do you feel the urge to wear a wet and clingy bathing suit?”

When you swim naked, she patiently explained: “It tingles on the skin. You feel every movement of the waves, every gust of wind directly on your skin. You feel your whole body. You feel alive, you feel free.”

Suddenly, I was the one who felt self-conscious.

Further down the beach, Gert Ramthun, an 80-year-old veteran nudist with snow-white hair and not a tan line in sight, said he started coming to Prerow, Germany’s most storied nudist beach, in the 1950s. The parties in those days — dress code: shell necklace only, please — were legendary, he said.

And those beach parties were one reason the Communist regime formally outlawed nudism for two years — before giving up and eventually even encouraging the practice as proof of how much more liberated life under Communism was compared to the prudish, capitalist West.

“It was a kind of ersatz freedom but it was still precious,” Mr. Ramthun said.

There is evidence group nudity has beneficial effects on body image and well-being. “Nudism makes us happier,” concluded Dr. Keon West, a psychology professor at the University of London, who conducted a 2017 survey of 850 British people on the subject.

Outside of designated clothing-optional areas, public nudity is treated as a petty offense in Germany, punishable with fines up to 1,000 euros. But legal precedent has de facto legalized nudity near a beach and nudity in nature is tolerated as long as no one complains, which rarely happens.

Some worry that Germany’s nudist tradition is slowly going out of fashion, not least because of the widespread use of smartphone cameras and the popularity of photo-sharing sites like Instagram.

“Many younger people don’t want to get naked because they don’t want to be on the internet the next day,” Ms. Möhring said.

Formal membership numbers in nudist clubs have halved since the end of Communism to about 32,000, but Christian Utecht, president of the Association of Free Body Culture for Berlin and Brandenburg, said the numbers are rising again — especially as young families rediscover nudism and the egalitarianism it offers.

“When you get to know people naked, all that status stuff ceases to matter,” said Mr. Adamski, the police officer. “You stop paying attention to how expensive their suit is or what brand their sneakers are.”

So much so that when Mr. Adamski ran into a fellow nudist in the city center the other day he did not recognize him, because, “He was wearing clothes.”


The Art of Gender Fluidity: 9 Works That Show How Sexual Identity Has Evolved Over Art History

One of the most important and wide-ranging paradigm shifts to arise out of the social, political, and aesthetic upheavals of the 20 th century is a sustained, visible challenge to the outdated notion of a hard and fast gender binary. As usual, artists have been at the forefront of these changes, creating works that question the normative assumptions of what our bodies should look like or do while drawing from a variety of perspectives on the subject. These divergent representations are far from a modern development, however&mdashas these excerpts from Phaidon&rsquos Body of Art show, inquiries into the complexities of sex and gender transcend both time and place, making this a vital if sadly under-theorized facet of art history.

SLEEPING HERMAPHRODITOS
Artist Unknown
3 rd -1 st Century B.C.

The sexual ambivalence of the Sleeping Hermaphroditos is more disquieting today than it would have been to ancient viewers, who knew the history of this son of Hermes and Aphrodite. For Hermaphroditos had rejected the advances of the nymph Salmacis, and she, in her distress, asked Zeus to merge their two bodies into one forever, hence the strange union of voluptuous female curves with male genitalia. The late Hellenistic date for the original work from which this Roman copy was made is based on the theatricality of the work: a first impression of a sensuous female nude, and then a surprise on the other side, rendered in realistic detail. The sculpture was discovered in Rome in 1608 and immediately became part of the Borghese collection. Its intrinsic eroticism was intensified in 1619 when Cardinal Scipione Borghese commissioned Gianlorenzo Bernini to sculpt the tufted mattress on which Hermaphroditos sleeps. The torsion of the figure&rsquos body and the slightly raised left foot suggest an impression of restless dreaming, however, rather than deep sleep the art historian Kenneth Clark saw this work as the direct inspiration for Velázquez&rsquos decidedly alert Rokeby Venus.

GUANYIN OF THE SOUTHERN SEA
Artist Unknown
11 th &ndash12 th Century A.D.

One of the most revered deities in Chinese Buddhism, Guanyin (the Chinese version of the Sanskrit Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara) is a goddess of mercy, compassion and unconditional love. Like all Bodhisattvas, she has postponed her own entry into nirvana until all beings have achieved enlightenment, but she in particular is seen as a savior, taking on any form necessary to assist those in need. This magnificent polychrome representation dates from the turn of the first millennium ad &ndash the moment at which the male god began to turn into a goddess. Before the Song period (960&ndash1279), Guanyin was portrayed with a moustache and distinctively male features, but around the time of the carving of this sculpture, the moustache disappeared and such feminine features as breasts and a softer, rounder face were assumed. This figure is still demonstrably male in posture and bearing, but the soft folds of the neck and the curving flesh of the chest exemplify the transition. In the figure&rsquos relaxed, confident position, a female receptiveness is combined with male self-assurance, open to the entreaties of those in need. Apart from the right forearm and a small outcrop of the rockery, the sculpture is carved from a single piece of wood.

THE BEARDED WOMAN (MAGDALENA VENTURA WITH HER HUSBAND)
Jusepe de Ribera
1631

Two full-length figures, lit from the side in an otherwise darkened space, face us directly. Both are bearded one, positioned slightly in front of the other, has a bare breast exposed and is suckling a child. Ribera (1591&ndash1652) painted this work on commission to the Duke of Alcalá, who collected images of bizarre subjects for his own amusement. The female subject, Magdalena Ventura, was in her early fifties at the time, and was well known for her masculine features and long beard. The Latin inscription on the plinth to the right describes her as &ldquoa great wonder of nature.&rdquo Ventura bore three sons, although all were grown by the time this painting was made the baby at her breast is perhaps symbolic of her maternity, as are the bobbin and the shell lying on top of the plinth. Despite the Duke&rsquos perhaps puerile interest in the ostensibly abnormal subject, Ribera&rsquos depiction of the sitters is both grave and sympathetic. The air of solemnity, generated by the somber, murky palette, is anything but mocking. The direct gazes, serious expressions, and forceful presence of the figures lend them a rare dignity.

PRINCESS X
Constantin Brancusi
1915&ndash16

Despite accusations to the contrary, Constantin Brancusi (1876&ndash1957) insisted that Princess X was a portrayal of a feminine ideal: a gently inclined oval face and graceful neck above a pert and generous bosom. Nonetheless, the sculpture was removed from the Salon des Indépendants in 1920 on the grounds of obscenity. Outraged by the suggestion that the work could be interpreted as anything else, the artist identified it as a portrait of a voluptuous ex-lover, with the highly polished bronze surface intended as a literal refection of female vanity and her habit of frequently checking her appearance in a mirror. Artist protestations aside, the sculpture undeniably presents a duality of gender, and depending on the angle from which it is viewed, different masculine or feminine attributes push their way to the fore. From the left front the form appears more upright and the breasts more prominent, while viewed from the right the piece appears more C-shaped and takes on the semblance of an erect penis and testicles. Curators have noted that Brancusi&rsquos own photographic records of the work in the studio almost always show it from the left. It has also been suggested that Brancusi incorporated, consciously or otherwise, his own vigorous desire for the female form into his representation.

UNTITLED
Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore
1921&ndash2

Artistic collaborators, lovers, stepsisters, and French Resistance fighters, Claude Cahun (1854&ndash1954) and Marcel Moore (1892&ndash1972) created works that investigated gender and identity politics in Europe between the wars. Born Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe respectively, the women adopted male pseudonyms. Cahun, who began experimenting with self-portraiture in 1911, is the subject of most of their photographs, which were never exhibited during their lifetimes and only came to light in the 1980s. These performative portraits explore the fluidity of gender. In some Cahun is hyper-feminine in exaggerated make-up and kiss curls, while in others she is hyper-masculine in a sailor suit or with a shaved head (something extremely rare for a woman in the 1920s) and a dandy&rsquos evening finery. Here, Cahun, wearing a cravat and velvet jacket with a pocket-handkerchief looks out at the viewer with a defiant expression. She was interested in upending conventional notions of gender not only in her dress and her art but also her writing. When translating Havelock Ellis&rsquos groundbreaking texts on gender and transgender identity she asserted: &ldquoShuffle the cards. Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neutral is the only gender that always suits me.&rdquo

UNTITLED (DOUBLE-SIDED), ILLUSTRATION FORIN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL
Henry Darger
Mid-20th Century

When Henry Darger (1892&ndash1973) died in 1973 he left behind a lifetime of work in his one-bedroom Chicago apartment. Darger, who had worked as a janitor in a hospital for most of his adult life, was a man immersed in his own radical imagination. In isolation he labored at a 5,000-page manuscript titled The History of My Life kept a journal that fastidiously tracked weather conditions over a ten-year period and, most significantly, created a fantastical 15,145-page illustrated tale, In the Realms of the Unreal. The heroines of this epic story are the Vivian Girls &ndash seven child princesses and sisters fighting in a conflict that was inspired, in part, by news reports, the American Civil War and Darger&rsquos personal life. The girls&rsquo evil enemies, the Glandelinians, are adults who enslave, gruesomely torture, and massacre children. Darger, who had suffered a traumatic childhood, wrote himself into the story as the children&rsquos protector. Subject to many interpretations and much debate is his depiction of children as transgendered, often showing young girls naked with prepubescent penises. Blending watercolor, magazine cutouts, Catholic references, and other imagery, his pictures can be both disturbing and magnificently lyrical. Preceding late-twentieth century movements such as Pop art but at the same time defying categories, Darger&rsquos art is brimming with vibrant obsessions and imaginative totality.

Better known for her large-scale, post-Minimalist sculptures of poured polyurethane foam, Lynda Benglis (b.1941) also created a series of photographs parodying stereotypical gender roles, such as this work, photographed by Arthur Gordon, in which she poses as a tanned and oiled pin-up. Such an image might normally feed a consuming heterosexual male gaze, but Benglis intervenes by holding an outsized dildo as if it were her penis. The dildo, like her large-scale sculptures, challenged the implicit male chauvinism of the contemporary art world by mocking symbols of male power. Benglis said of the then-dominant Abstract Expressionist movement, &ldquoI saw it was a big, macho game, a big, heroic Abstract Expressionist, macho, sexist game. It&rsquos all about territory. How big?&rdquo Part of that territory included the commercial infrastructure of art (such as galleries and trade magazines) to which she ultimately draws attention in this work. Benglis tried publishing this photograph in Artforum as an &ldquoartist&rsquos statement&rdquo, but the editor refused. So instead she and the Paula Cooper Gallery purchased advertising space in the magazine. The provocative double-page spread advert consisted of her bold photograph and a page and a third of stark black with the gallery&rsquos name inconspicuously printed in the upper left.

Slumped on the gallery floor as though abandoned, this sculpture has the initial appearance of a heavy sack. It also bears the identifying marks of the human body, both female and male: a breast on one side, a man&rsquos hairy pectoral on the other. Gober&rsquos (b.1954) untitled sculpture operates on the fault line between the real and the illusory. Here, he has created a beeswax torso the color of pale flesh, cast in a real bag, with real human hair that seems to sprout naturalistically. Limbless and headless, it resembles a classical torso displayed in a museum, a fragment of its former self. Yet by aligning the gravitational pull of the wax cast and the signifiers of the human body, Gober&rsquos work acquires a poignant sense of frailty far from the classical ideal. Much of the artist&rsquos work was made in the context of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 90s, and his images of abandoned, weakened bodies&rsquo take on additional pathos in this light. By depicting the torso as hermaphrodite, Gober suggests the fluidity of gender categories. Sidestepping attempts to categorize the body as either male or female, the work occupies an awkward spot, both in the room and in assumptions about bodies in general.

NATURE STUDY
Louise Bourgeois
1996

Crouching on a plinth is a headless, dog-like creature with a human back and multiple protruding breasts. Its sharp claws and muscular physique suggest power and aggression, yet its smooth, hair- less surface bestows a sense of vulnerability. Not only is this strange beast part-animal and part- human, but it is also part male and part female, as indicated by the conspicuous phallus between its splayed hind legs. Bourgeois&rsquo sculpture was inspired by an eighteenth-century marble in the Louvre by F.A. Franzoni (Trone of a Priestess of Ceres), in which two winged sphinxes sit guarding a throne. Doing away with the head, arms and wings, Bourgeois (1911&ndash2010) draws attention to the ambiguous sexuality of her creature, which she claimed was a symbolic self-portrait. The six breasts represent her nurturing role as a mother and wife, providing for her husband and three sons. While the claws symbolize the defensive matriarch, guarding those she loves, Bourgeois described the phallus as "the subject of my tender- ness . after all, I lived with four men . I was the protector." Although the work is highly personal to the artist, its themes of desire, sexuality, nurturing and protection are universal.

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Please note that if the auction moves to a physical live event (the auction page will specify this and the bidder will be noticed as such by email), the highest bidder after the close of the online auction will be the opening bid at the event and will be notified within 48 hours after the event if the bid is the final winning bid or been outbid by someone at the event.

Bidding Increments

When placing a bid, enter the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the work. Entering your "Maximum Bid" does not necessarily mean you will pay that price, you may pay less. The Auction system will Proxy Bid on your behalf up to the amount of your Maximum Bid. Once you enter your Maximum Bid, your current bid displayed will be in the amount of the "Next Minimum Bid." As the auction proceeds, Artspace will compare your bid to those of other bidders. When you are outbid, the system automatically bids on your behalf according to the bidding increments established for that auction up to (but never exceeding) your maximum bid. We increase your bid by increments only as much as necessary to maintain your position as highest bidder. Your maximum bid is kept confidential until it is exceeded by another bidder. If your maximum bid is outbid, you will be notified via email so that you can place another bid.

If the auction is a benefit auction or an auction with a physical event (which will be noted on the auction page), all online bids will be transferred to that event and Artspace or the organization running the event will continue to monitor your bids in person and continue Proxy Bidding on your behalf up to your maximum bid. Winning bidders will be notified within 48 hours after the close of the auction. If you are not contacted by Artspace, you were not the highest bidder.

Closing the Auction

Upon the close of each auction Artspace shall separately confirm the highest bid to the seller and notify the buyer submitting the highest bid that the bid was successful and the amount of the buyer’s premium due to Artspace to be charged to buyer’s credit card. Artspace shall thereupon charge buyer’s credit card in the amount of the buyer’s premium.

Upon receipt of the buyer’s premium Artspace shall email both the successful buyer and seller and shall provide each with the name, address, telephone number and email address of the other buyer and seller are thereafter solely responsible for arranging for the transmission of payment of the purchase price within 24 hours of the transmission of the Artspace email and for prompt shipment of the goods after receipt of good funds. If for any reason after Artspace’s initial confirmation of the successful bid the buyer cancels the transaction or fails to make payment to the seller, the buyer shall remain liable to Artspace for the full buyer’s premium and Artspace reserves the right to retain such buyer’s premium in addition to any other remedies it has at law or equity.

Any dispute with respect to the auction of any item shall be resolved between buyer and seller and without the participation of Artspace. Seller is solely responsible for collecting payment from the buyer. Artspace does not guaranty and is not responsible in any way for the performance of buyers or sellers participating in the auction.

Responsibilities of Auction Buyers and Sellers

Goods offered on Artspace Auctions must be tangible goods that meet the requirements of the Site. Sellers shall not offer any goods for sale or consummate any transaction initiated on Artspace Auctions that violates or could cause Artspace to violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation. Artspace shall have sole discretion as to whether a specific item meets the requirements of the Site, which determination is final.

Sellers offering goods shall post a description of the goods offered and may set a minimum reserve price, a minimum overbid amount and the termination of the auction of the goods. Sellers agree to accept the highest bid above their set reserve price and to deliver the offered goods to the buyer submitting such highest bid. Any goods offered using a seller’s registration log in information shall be deemed by Artspace and any bidding buyer as being offered or authorized by that seller. Sellers are solely responsible for the description, condition, authenticity, and quality of the goods offered. Sellers represent that they are in compliance with all applicable laws, including without limitation those regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which the seller resides as well as the restrictions on import or export of goods from the seller’s country to the buyer’s country.

By posting goods on the Artspace Auctions each seller represents and warrants that he/she holds free and marketable title to the goods offered and that the sale to any buyer will be free and clear of any and all liens or encumbrances. Sellers agree that Artspace Auctions will publish images and information in English relating to the goods offered by sellers. Sellers are solely responsible for descriptions of goods and all other content provided to Artspace by seller. Each seller agrees that Artspace may reformat content submitted by sellers in order to best serve the needs and formatting of the Artspace Auctions. Sellers grant Artspace a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use the listing information in other areas of the site in our sole discretion.

Sellers are responsible for shipment of goods to successful bidding buyers upon receipt of the purchase price. Sellers must make shipment promptly on receipt of good funds from buyers. Sellers are responsible for collecting any and all applicable taxes from the successful buyer and for remitting such taxes to the applicable taxing authority.

Buyers are responsible for determining the value, condition and authenticity of the goods. Buyers participating in the Artspace Auctions represent and warrant by placing any bid that they are ready, willing and able to pay the purchase price bid, all applicable taxes and the buyer’s premium all within 24 hours of the close of the auction if they are the successful bidder. Any bids submitted using a buyer’s registration log in information shall be deemed made or authorized by that buyer. Each buyer placing any bid represents and warrants that such bids are not the product of any collusive or other anti-competitive agreement and are otherwise consistent with federal and state laws. Each buyer is responsible for payment of New York State and local sales tax, any applicable use tax, any federal luxury tax or any other taxes assessed on the purchase of the goods. The buyer is solely responsible for identifying and obtaining any necessary export, import, or other permit for the delivery of the goods and for determining whether the goods are subject to any export or import embargoes.

Artspace not Responsible for Auction Submissions No Representations or Warranties

Sellers and buyers agree that Artspace is not responsible for and does not make any representations or warranties (express or implied) as to the goods offered, including without limitation as to merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, the accuracy of the description of the goods, the physical condition, size, quality, rarity, importance, medium, provenance, whether the goods are subject to export or import restrictions or embargoes, shipment or delivery, packing or handling, the ability of the buyer to pay, the ability of the seller to collect the purchase price, or any other representation or warranty of any kind or nature. Artspace is not responsible for any errors or failures to execute bids placed online, including, without limitation, errors or failures caused by (1) loss of connection to the internet or to the online bidding software by any party, (2) a breakdown or failure of the online bidding software, or (3) a breakdown or failure of any seller’s or buyer’s internet connection or computer or (4) any errors or omissions in connection with the bidding process.

Open Positions on Careers Pages

We may list open employment positions on this web site. These postings are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice. You should not construe any information on this Site or made available through Site as an offer for employment. Nor should you construe anything on this web site as a promotion or solicitation for employment not authorized by the laws and regulations of your locale.

Privacy Policy User Information

In the course of your use of the Site, you may be asked to provide certain information to us. Our use of any information you provide via the Site shall be governed by our Privacy Policy available at here artspace.com/privacy. We urge you to read our Privacy Policy. You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for the accuracy and content of such information.

International Use

We control and operate the Site from our offices in the United States of America, and all information is processed within the United States. We do not represent that materials on the Site are appropriate or available for use in other locations. Persons who choose to access the Site from other locations do so on their own initiative, and are responsible for compliance with local laws, if and to the extent local laws are applicable.

You agree to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in connection with your use of the Site. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you agree to comply with all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside.

Proprietary Rights

As between you and Artspace (or other company whose marks appear on the Site), Artspace (or the respective company) is the owner and/or authorized user of any trademark, registered trademark and/or service mark appearing on the Site, and is the copyright owner or licensee of the Content and/or information on the Site, unless otherwise indicated.

Except as otherwise provided herein, use of the Site does not grant you a license to any Content, features or materials you may access on the Site and you may not modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works of such Content, features or materials, in whole or in part. Any commercial use of the Site is strictly prohibited, except as allowed herein or otherwise approved by us. You may not download or save a copy of any of the Content or screens for any purpose except as otherwise provided by Artspace. If you make use of the Site, other that as provided herein, in doing so you may violate copyright and other laws of the United States, other countries, as well as applicable state laws and may be subject to liability for such unauthorized use. We do not grant any license or other authorization to any user of our trademarks, registered trademarks, service marks, other copyrightable material or any other intellectual property by including them on the Site.

The information on the Site including, without limitation, all site design, text, graphics, interfaces, and the selection and arrangements is protected by law including copyright law.

Product names, logos, designs, titles, graphics, words or phrases may be protected under law as the trademarks, service marks or trade names of Artspace LLC, or other entities. Such trademarks, service marks and trade names may be registered in the United States and internationally.

Without our prior written permission, you agree not to display or use our trademarks, service marks, trade names, other copyrightable material or any other intellectual property in any manner.

Links from and to the Site

You may be able to link to third party websites ("Linked Sites") from the Site. Linked Sites are not, however, reviewed, controlled or examined by us in any way and we are not responsible for the content, availability, advertising, products, information or use of user information or other materials of any such Linked Sites, or any additional links contained therein. These links do not imply our endorsement of or association with the Linked Sites. It is your sole responsibility to comply with the appropriate terms of service of the Linked Sites as well as with any other obligation under copyright, secrecy, defamation, decency, privacy, security and export laws related to the use of such Linked Sites and any content contained thereon. In no event shall we be liable, directly or indirectly, to anyone for any loss or damage arising from or occasioned by the creation or use of the Linked Sites or the information or material accessed through these Linked Sites. You should direct any concerns to that site's administrator or Webmaster. We reserve the exclusive right, at its sole discretion, to add, change, decline or remove, without notice, any feature or link to any of the Linked Sites from the Site and/or introduce different features or links to different users.

Permission must be granted by us for any type of link to the Site. To seek our permission, you may write to us at the address below. We reserve the right, however, to deny any request or rescind any permission granted by us to link through such other type of link, and to require termination of any such link to the Site, at our discretion at any time.

INDEMNITY

You agree to defend, indemnify and hold Artspace LLC, its directors, officers, employees, agents, vendors, partners, contractors, galleries, artists, institutions, distributers, representatives and affiliates harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, in any way arising from, related to or in connection with your use of the Site, your violation of any law, your violation of the Terms or the posting or transmission of any User Content, or materials on or through the Site by you, including, but not limited to, any third party claim that any information or materials you provide infringes any third party proprietary right. You agree to cooperate as fully as reasonably required in the defense of any claim. Your indemnification obligation will survive the termination of these Terms and your use of the Site.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES

YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT:

THE SITE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ALL CONTENT, FUNCTION, MATERIALS AND SERVICES IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS," AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS, WITHOUT REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION: (I) ANY WARRANTY FOR INFORMATION, DATA, DATA PROCESSING SERVICES OR UNINTERRUPTED ACCESS (II) ANY WARRANTIES CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY, ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, USEFULNESS, OR CONTENT OF INFORMATION (III) ANY WARRANTIES OF TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR (IV) ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY REGARDING THE CHARACTER, REPUTATION OR BUSINESS PRACTICES OF THE SELLER. Artspace DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE SITE OR THE FUNCTION, CONTENT OR SERVICES MADE AVAILABLE THEREBY WILL BE TIMELY, SECURE, UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, OR THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED. Artspace MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT THE SITE WILL MEET USERS' EXPECTATIONS OR REQUIREMENTS. NO ADVICE, RESULTS OR INFORMATION, OR MATERIALS WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU THROUGH THE SITE SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY MADE HEREIN. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE SITE, YOUR SOLE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITE.

ANY BUYER MUST DIRECT ALL CLAIMS REGARDING ANY ITEM TO THE SELLER AND MUST RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE REGARDING ANY ITEM DIRECTLY WITH THE SELLER.

Artspace DOES NOT ENDORSE, WARRANT OR GUARANTEE ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES OFFERED OR PROVIDED BY OR ON BEHALF OF SELLERS ON OR THROUGH THE SITE. Artspace IS NOT A PARTY TO ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN BUYERS AND SELLERS (UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED AND NOTIFIED TO THE PARTIES IN WRITING).

ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE SITE IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND THAT YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY SUCH MATERIAL.

Artspace DOES NOT ENDORSE, WARRANT OR GUARANTEE ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES OFFERED OR PROVIDED BY OR ON BEHALF OF THIRD PARTIES ON OR THROUGH THE SITE. Artspace IS NOT A PARTY TO, AND DOES NOT MONITOR, ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN USERS AND THIRD PARTIES WITHOUT THE DIRECT INVOLVEMENT OF COMPANY.

RELEASE

YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE TO RELEASE Artspace, LLC., ITS AFFILIATES, OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, PARTNERS, SUBSIDIARIES, DIVISIONS, SUCCESSORS, SUPPLIERS, DISTRIBUTORS, VENDORS, CONTRACTORS, AND REPRESENTATIVES (THE “RELEASED PARTIES”), AND EACH OF THE FOREGOING, FROM ANY AND ALL MANNER OF ACTION, CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION OR SUIT, AT LAW OR IN EQUITY, AND FROM ANY AND ALL LOSSES, DAMAGES, COSTS OR EXPENSES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION COURT COSTS AND ATTORNEYS’ FEES, WHICH YOU MAY HAVE AGAINST THE RELEASED PARTIES, OR ANY OF THEM, KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, DISCLOSED OR UNDISCLOSED, WHICH ARISE OUT OF OR RELATE IN ANY WAY TO A DISPUTE. YOU FURTHER WAIVE ANY APPLICABLE RIGHTS UNDER SECTION 1542 OF THE CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE, AND ANY SIMILAR LAW OF ANY APPLICABLE JURISDICTION, WHICH STATES: "A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR."

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

IN NO EVENT SHALL Artspace, ITS AFFILIATES OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, PARTNERS, SUBSIDIARIES, DIVISIONS, SUCCESSORS, SUPPLIERS, DISTRIBUTORS, AFFILIATES VENDORS, CONTRACTORS, GALLERIES, ARTISTS, INSTITUTIONS, REPRESENTATIVES OR CONTENT OR SERVICE PROVIDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARISING FROM OR DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY RELATED TO THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THE SITE OR THE CONTENT, MATERIALS AND FUNCTION RELATED THERETO, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF REVENUE, OR ANTICIPATED PROFITS, OR LOST BUSINESS, DATA OR SALES, OR COST OF SUBSTITUTE SERVICES, EVEN IF COMPANY OR ITS REPRESENTATIVE OR SUCH INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY SO SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE TOTAL LIABILITY OF Artspace TO YOU FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION (WHETHER IN CONTRACT OR TORT, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING FROM THE TERMS OR YOUR USE OF THE SITE EXCEED, IN THE AGGREGATE, $100.00. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL Artspace OR ITS RESPECTIVE OFFICERS DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, SUCCESSORS, SUBSIDIARIES, DIVISIONS, DISTRIBUTORS, SUPPLIERS, AFFILIATES OR THIRD PARTIES PROVIDING INFORMATION ON THIS SITE HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES ARISING OUT OF OR OTHERWISE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE LOSS OF ANY DATA OR INFORMATION CONTAINED IN YOUR ACCOUNT OR OTHERWISE STORED BY OR ON BEHALF Artspace.

You hereby acknowledge that the preceding paragraph shall apply to all content, merchandise and services available through the Site.

Applicable Law/Jurisdiction

You agree that the laws of the state of New York, excluding its conflicts-of-law rules, shall govern these Terms. Please note that your use of the Site may be subject to other local, state, national, and international laws. You expressly agree that exclusive jurisdiction for resolving any claim or dispute with Artspace relating in any way to your use of the Site resides in the state and federal courts of New York County, New York, and you further agree and expressly consent to the exercise of personal jurisdiction in the state and federal courts of New York County. In addition, you expressly waive any right to a jury trial in any legal proceeding against Artspace its parent, subsidiaries, divisions, or affiliates or their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, or successors under or related to these Terms. Any claim or cause of action you have with respect to use of the Site must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim arises.

Consent to Processing

By providing any personal information to the Site, all users, including without limitation users in the European Union, fully understand and unambiguously consent to the collection and processing of such information in the United States.

Any inquiries concerning these Terms should be directed to us at the address below.

Risk of Loss

The items purchased from our Site are shipped by a third-party carrier pursuant to a shipment contract. As a result, risk of loss and title for such items may pass to you upon our delivery to the carrier.

Purchasing

Artspace and its partners strive for complete accuracy in description and pricing of the products on the Site. However, due to the nature of the internet, occasional glitches, service interruptions or mistakes may cause inaccuracies to appear on the Site. Artspace has the right to void any purchases that display an inaccurate price. If the displayed price is higher than the actual price, you may be refunded the overcharge. If the displayed price is less than the actual price, Artspace will void the purchase and attempt to contact you via either phone or email to inquire if you would like the item for the correct price.

You acknowledge that temporary interruptions in the availability of the Site may occur from time to time as normal events. Also, we may decide to cease making available the Site or any portion of the Site at any time and for any reason. Under no circumstances will Artspace or its suppliers be held liable for any damages due to such interruptions or lack of availability.

Notices

Notices to you may be made via either email or regular mail. The Site may also provide notices of changes to the Terms or other matters by displaying notices or links to notices to you on the Site.

In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting the entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the person in whose name the e-mail account is registered. All drawings will be conducted under the supervision of Sponsor. The decisions of the Sponsors are final and binding in all matters relating to this contest. Sponsors reserve the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds, in its sole discretion, to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or the Website located at www.artspace.com to be in violation of the Terms of Service of the Website to be acting in violation of these Official Rules to be acting in a disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. If for any reason this Contest is not capable of running as planned due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contests, Sponsor reserve the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest.

Limitations of Liability

SPONSOR DOES NOT ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERROR, OMISSION, INTERRUPTION, DELETION, DEFECT, DELAY IN OPERATION OR TRANSMISSION, COMMUNICATIONS LINE FAILURE, THEFT OR DESTRUCTION OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO ITS WEBSITES. SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PROBLEMS OR TECHNICAL MALFUNCTION OF ANY TELEPHONE NETWORK OR TELEPHONE LINES, COMPUTER ON-LINE SYSTEMS, SERVERS, COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, SOFTWARE, FAILURE OF ANY E-MAIL OR ENTRY TO BE RECEIVED BY SPONSOR ON ACCOUNT OF TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, HUMAN ERROR OR TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON THE INTERNET OR AT ANY WEBSITE, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF. SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INCORRECT OR INACCURATE CAPTURE OF INFORMATION OR THE FAILURE TO CAPTURE SUCH INFORMATION, WHETHER CAUSED BY WEBSITE USERS, TAMPERING OR HACKING, OR BY ANY OF THE EQUIPMENT OR PROGRAMMING ASSOCIATED WITH OR UTILIZED IN THE CONTEST. SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INJURY OR DAMAGE TO PARTICIPANTS’ OR TO ANY OTHER PERSON’S COMPUTER RELATED TO OR RESULTING FROM PARTICIPATING IN THIS CONTEST OR FROM OR USE OF THE WEBSITE. IN NO EVENT WILL SPONSOR, OR THEIR PARENT COMPANIES, DISTRIBUTORS, AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, OFFICERS, VENDORS, AND AGENCIES, EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS, BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS CONTEST, ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE WEBSITE OR THE DOWNLOADING FROM AND/OR PRINTING MATERIAL DOWNLOADED FROM THE WEBSITE. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, EVERYTHING ON THE WEBSITE AND IN THIS CONTEST IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES SO SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS FOR ANY RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITATIONS REGARDING THESE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS.

Disputes

As a condition of participating in Contests, you agree that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, or the determination of the winner shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action exclusively by arbitration pursuant to the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association, then effective. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will you be permitted to obtain awards for, and you hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than your actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with entering this Contest), and you further waive all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or your rights and obligations or Sponsor’s rights and obligations in connection with this Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, U.S.A., without giving effect to the conflict of laws rules thereof, and all proceedings shall take place in that State in the City and County of New York.

As a condition of participating in Contests, you agree that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, or the determination of the winner shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action exclusively by arbitration pursuant to the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association, then effective. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will you be permitted to obtain awards for, and you hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than your actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with entering this Contest), and you further waive all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or your rights and obligations or Sponsor’s rights and obligations in connection with this Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, U.S.A., without giving effect to the conflict of laws rules thereof, and all proceedings shall take place in that State in the City and County of New York.

As a condition of participating in Contests, you agree that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, or the determination of the winner shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action exclusively by arbitration pursuant to the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association, then effective. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will you be permitted to obtain awards for, and you hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than your actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with entering this Contest), and you further waive all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or your rights and obligations or Sponsor’s rights and obligations in connection with this Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, U.S.A., without giving effect to the conflict of laws rules thereof, and all proceedings shall take place in that State in the City and County of New York. In the event of a dispute as to the identity of the winner based on an e-mail address, the winning entry will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at time of entry. “Authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational, institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address

Contacting Us

To contact us with any questions or concerns in connection with this Agreement or the Site, or to provide any notice under this Agreement to us please go to Contact Us or write to us at:

Artspace LLC
65 Bleecker St. 8th Floor
New York, NY, 10012
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 646-365-3350

General Information

The Terms constitute the entire agreement between you and Artspace and govern your use of the Site, superseding any prior agreements between you and Artspace. You also may be subject to additional terms and conditions that are applicable to certain parts of the Site.

You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between Artspace and you as a result of this Agreement or your use of the Site.

Any claim or cause of action you may have with respect to Artspace or the Site must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim or cause of action arose.

Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any provision of the Terms is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Terms remain in full force and effect.

You may not assign the Terms or any of your rights or obligations under the Terms without our express written consent.

The Terms inure to the benefit of Artspace's successors, assigns and licensees. The section titles in the Terms are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.


WTF: Why Is Public Nudity Legal in Vermont But Public Disrobing Isn't?

Vermont's flip-floppy attitude on public nudity can confound newcomers who learn that, though it's legal to be naked in public, it's illegal to get naked there. Vermonters can let it all hang out outdoors — provided "it" was already hanging out when they left their home, car or place of employment. The actual shedding of garments al fresco exposes the perpetrator not only to the elements but also to the risk of prosecution for lewd and lascivious conduct. Huh?

Legally, the distinction between garden-variety nude sunbathing and raincoat-clad flashing has much to do with what offends the public's "sense of decency, propriety and morality." That standard was established in 1846, when the Vermont Supreme Court was asked to decide, in State v. Millard, whether one J. Millard of Orleans County was guilty of lewd and lascivious conduct after he repeatedly "exposed his private parts" to several people "with intent to incite in their minds lewd and unchaste desires and inclinations." Prudently, the court determined that Millard wasn't a nudist but a pervert.

The legal threshold for bringing an L&L charge for public nudity, or even the lesser one of disorderly conduct, has evolved over time. In the early 1970s, just as hippies and back-to-the-landers were arriving in the Green Mountain State, the state police asked then-Chittenden County state's attorney Patrick Leahy to weigh in on what Leahy called the "time-honored practice of unclothed swimming, known colloquially as 'skinny-dipping.'"

After one overzealous prosecutor sparked public outrage by jailing a man for swimming au naturel in a river, the cops expressed confusion as to the appropriate response to birthday-suit bathers.

In response, Leahy penned a somewhat tongue-in-cheek missive to "any law-enforcement officer so lacking in other criminal matters to investigate, so as to have time to investigate this currently popular subject."

"I was originally disinclined to slow the crime-fighting operation of the Chittenden County State's Attorney's Office long enough to issue a memorandum of such minuscule moment," Leahy wrote in his July 7, 1971, memo. But after "researching the issue" — mostly by consulting colleagues and reviewing "old Norman Rockwell paintings thoughtfully resurrected by the ACLU, showing such activities taking place allegedly in Vermont" — Leahy determined that "most Vermonters I've talked to have engaged in such scandalous activity at some time in their life (with the exception of a couple I didn't believe, who claimed to have done so in May in Vermont)."

Ultimately, Leahy advised that while nude bathing was unacceptable in certain public areas — such as Burlington's North Beach, where local ordinance specifically bans it — it was fine on private land out of public view.

As for semi-secluded areas, Leahy determined that nudity is acceptable "if no member of the public present is offended, no disorderly conduct has taken place." But if said nakedness doth offend, Leahy advised the cops to ask the skinny-dippers to get dressed or face a ticket.

In later years, that standard for police involvement eroded to the point where the mere public airing of one's junk no longer qualified as a potential violation. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, several parks and beaches around Vermont became hangouts for those who enjoy in-the-buff recreation.

One such spot is the Ledges, a clothing-optional swimming hole on Wilmington's Harriman Reservoir. In the late 1990s, as the Ledges grew in popularity, it began attracting unwanted scrutiny, drawing complaints about discarded condoms, sex in the woods and the occasional "bush-whacker," aka public masturbator.

Though such incidents were rare, in June 2001 the Wilmington Selectboard decided to just say no. In a four-to-one vote, the board enacted the Wilmington Public Indecency Ordinance. It was spearheaded by the aptly named Margaret Frost, a grandmother who owned a cabin on the reservoir and described herself as affronted by the full-frontal nudity on view. According to an October 2002 New Yorker story about the dustup, Frost's cabin was about 200 yards from the nearest full Monty, leading one to suppose she had a fine pair of binoculars for viewing the, um, wildlife.

The following year, a citizens' group called Friends of the Ledges drew on support from several nationwide "naturist" groups and rallied enough public support to overturn the ban. Today, the Ledges remains one of the best-known clothing-optional parks in New England.

A more successful effort to strip away the right to bare asses was mounted in Brattleboro in August 2006, after some local residents complained about teens publicly airing their privates downtown. A year later, the town selectboard passed a no-nudity ordinance, which drew international media coverage.

Nevertheless, by the mid-2000s, mass displays of public nakedness were, if not commonplace in Vermont, at least tolerated. Beginning in 1996, the University of Vermont supported its students' annual Naked Bike Ride, held each semester at midnight on the last day of classes. UVM officially sanctioned the rides until November 2011, when then-interim president John Bramley sent out a campus-wide email saying the school would no longer pony up the $17,000 needed to cover barricades, lights, private security guards, campus police and other event costs.

In his message, Bramley cited safety concerns resulting from past rides, including incidences of sexual assault, overconsumption of alcohol and bicycle-related injuries, which presumably included excessive chafing. Despite Bramley's bum steer, the nude ride still happens, with participation contingent on the temperature.

Two Chittenden County cops who were not authorized to talk to the press summarized their likely response to public nudity and disrobing thus: Discreetly undressing at your local swimming hole before diving in probably won't justify a citation. But performing a striptease on the rocks while wagging your doodle at nearby children will almost certainly get your name added to Vermont's sex-offender registry.


Catholic Counter-Reformation Art (1560-1700)


Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1647-52)
By Giovanni Bernini.
Cornaro Chapel,
Santa Maria della Vittoria.

EVOLUTION OF VISUAL ART
For details of art movements
and styles, see: History of Art.
For chronological details, see:
History of Art Timeline.

What is Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation Art?

The term "Catholic Counter-Reformation art" describes the more stringent, doctrinal style of Christian art which was developed during the period c.1560-1700, in response to Martin Luther's revolt against Rome (1517) and the Protestant Reformation art which followed. This stricter style of Catholic Biblical art - launched by the Council of Trent (1545-63) - was designed to highlight the theological differences between Catholicism and Protestantism, by focusing on the mysteries of the faith, as well as the roles of the Virgin Mary and the Saints. It was supposed to revitalize Catholic congregations across Europe, thus minimizing the effects of the Protestant revolt. To inject momentum into its campaign, the Roman Church - aided by the newly-formed Jesuit order, as well as wealthy pious individuals - began commissioning new architecture, works of altarpiece art (mostly large-scale oil paintings), inspirational church fresco paintings, and major pieces of ecclesiastical sculpture and wood carving. Staunch supporters of the Catholic Counter-Reformation and its religious art included Italy, Spain and its colonies of Flanders and Naples, as well as southern Germany. Its leading exponents were therefore Italian Baroque artists like Caravaggio, Pietro da Cortona, Bernini, and Andrea Pozzo the school of Spanish Painting, such as El Greco, Ribera and Francisco de Zurbaran and the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens.

History: The Reformation The Decline in Spirituality of Art

Two important factors shaped the art of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, during the 16th and 17th centuries. First, a growth in the level of corruption within the Roman Catholic Church, from the Pope down. It was this corruption (specifically the sale of indulgences to finance the renovation of St Peter's in Rome), overseen by Pope Leo X (1513-21), that caused Luther to launch his Protestant rebellion.

The second factor was artistic though it, too, reflected a similar spiritual decline. During the 15th century, Early Renaissance painting commissioned by the Church or its Christian followers, gradually became less and less religious. The Tornabuoni Chapel frescoes (1485㫲), for instance, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, seem to be more focused on the details of bourgeois city life than on their actual subjects, the Life of the Virgin and that of John the Baptist. Also, secular priorities began to intrude: the influential Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), for instance, became increasingly involved with the rich Gonzaga family in Mantua, while even the devout Botticelli (1445-1510) spent time painting a number of pagan works for the powerful Medici family in Florence: see, for example, Primavera 1482, and The Birth of Venus 1485, both marked by substantial nudity. The activity of the fiery Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola (1452-98) - culminating in his Bonfire of the Vanities in 1497 - was a clear indication of the lack of Christian devotion as well as the growing decadence of the time. The situation was further exacerbated during the era of High Renaissance painting, as Humanism (characteristically expressed in the male and female nude) became an important feature of Renaissance aesthetics: as demonstrated in the marble statue of David by Michelangelo (1501-4), and the ignudi in the Genesis fresco (1508-12) on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, by the same artist. Worse was to follow, as the High Renaissance gave way to the optical pretensions of Mannerist painting, during the 1520s and 30s: as exemplified by works like the Deposition Altarpiece (1526-8) in the Capponi Chapel, Florence, by Pontormo (1494-1557). This non-traditional approach to art did not go down well with either Protestants or the more conservative factions in Rome. Another contentious work was Wedding Feast at Cana (1563) by Veronese.

To rebuild confidence in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, after the twin shocks of the Protestant Reformation (1517) and the Sack of Rome (1527), a campaign of reform was necessary. The impetus for such reform emanated from the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), founded by S. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), and from the 19th Ecumenical Council (the Council of Trent), initiated by Pope Paul III (1534�), which held 25 sessions between 1545 and 1563. Reformers believed strongly in the educational and inspirational power of visual art, and promoted a number of guidelines to be followed in the production of religious paintings and sculpture. These formed the basis for what became known as Catholic Counter-Reformation Art.

Characteristics of Catholic Counter-Reformation Art

Reformers first stressed the need to distinguish the one true Church from the breakaway group of Protestant churches. Artists should therefore focus on the distinctive aspects of Catholic dogma, including: The Immaculate Conception, The Annunciation of the Virgin, The Transfiguration of Christ, and others. Also, any explicit portrayal of Christ's suffering and agony on the Cross was deemed to be especially uplifting, and also served to illustrate the singular Catholic version of Transubstantiation in the Eucharist. The roles of the Virgin Mary, the Saints and the Sacraments were also a distinctive feature of Catholicism and were to be illustrated accordingly. Second, reformers stipulated that Biblical painting should be direct and compelling in its narrative presentation, and should be rendered in a clear, accurate fashion,without unnecessary or imaginary embellishments. Third, reformers - in particular, pious individuals such as Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales and Philip Neri - insisted that Catholic art should encourage piety: thus artists should paint and sculpt scenes of appropriate spiritual intensity. Fourth, as to how paintings and statues were to be executed, reformers stressed the importance of making them as understandable and as relevant to ordinary people, as possible. Using these techniques, Catholic art was to combat the spread of Protestantism throughout Europe, especially in areas like France, southern Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Bohemia and Hungary. For an example of a 16th century Mannerist painter who changed his style of painting to comply with the Council of Trent, see: Federico Barocci (1526-1612).

Note: Later, major religious works like The Last Judgment fresco (1536-61) by Michelangelo, and The Last Supper (renamed Feast in the House of Levi (1573) by Paolo Veronese, were censured by the Catholic authorities: the former for its nudity, for depicting Christ without a beard, and for including the pagan figure of Charon the latter for its inclusion of drunken Germans, midgets and other inappropriate figures, as well as over-extravagant costumes.

The Baroque Art Movement

Following the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church - along with its new religious orders, such as the Barnabites, Capuchins, Discalced Carmelites, Jesuits, Theatines, and Ursulines - increased its patronage of the arts across much of Europe. Out of this campaign of Counter-Reformation art emerged the anti-Mannerist Bolognese School (1590-1630) - led by Annibale Carracci along with brother Agostino Carracci (1557-1602) and cousin Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619) - and then the international movement we know as Baroque art, a style which lasted until 1700 or later. A typically powerful and dramatic style, it influenced all the arts, giving rise to Baroque architecture, as well as Baroque painting and sculpure: indeed, projects often involved a combination of all these disciplines.

Catholic Art in Italy

Baroque architects in Italy produced numerous textbook examples of Catholic architecture, notably the Basilica and surroundings of Saint Peter's Basilica (c.1506-1667), and the Church of the Gesu (1568-84), in Rome while Counter-Reformation painters became noted for their classical approach, as exemplified in the works of Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) and in late 16th century Venetian Altarpieces, notably those by Titian (c.1485/8-1576) and Tintoretto (1518-94). The textbook example of Counter-Reformation Baroque sculpture was The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1647-52) by Bernini (1598-1680), in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. After Bernini, Rome's greatest Catholic artist was Carlo Maratta (1625-1713).

The most 'real' Catholic art, however, was created by the wayward genius Caravaggio (1571-1610), whose religious figure painting was so natural and lifelike - and thus instantly understandable by ordinary churchgoers - that it served as the quintessential example of Catholic Counter-Reformation painting. (See, for instance, Supper at Emmaus 1601-2, National Gallery, London.) In fact, Caravaggio's use of street people as models for his sacred figures, led to such realism that he was criticised by conservatives for showing insufficient respect to the Virgin Mary.

The masters of spiritual inspiration were the artists who produced the awesome illusionist mural paintings - known as quadratura - on the walls and ceilings of Baroque churches. The finest of these trompe l'oeil paintings include: Assumption of the Virgin (Parma Cathedral) (1526-30) by Correggio - see the Parma School of painting The Triumph of the Name of Jesus (1584, Church of the Gesu) by Giovanni Battista Gaulli Allegory of Divine Providence (1633-9, Palazzo Barberini) by Pietro da Cortona and The Apotheosis of St Ignatius (1691-4, San Ignazio, Rome) by Andrea Pozzo. Compare these inspirational works with the muted, even austere, church interiors created by Protestant artists like Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665) and Emanuel de Witte (1615-92).

Catholic Art in Spain and Naples

If Italy was the brain of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, its heart was Spain, the most pious country in Europe. Under the ultra-devout King Philip II (1527-98), painters and sculptors of the Spanish Baroque produced some of the most spiritually intense illustrations of Catholic doctrine. The greatest of them was El Greco (1541-1614), whose masterpieces include The Disrobing of Christ (1577, Toledo Cathedral) The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586, Church of San Tome, Toledo) Christ driving the Traders from the Temple (1600, National Gallery, London) The Ascension of the Virgin Mary (1607-13, S Cruz Museum, Toledo) and The Adoration of the Shepherds (1613, Prado, Madrid). Other Spanish Baroque artists included: Velazquez (1599-1660) - if only for his masterpiece Christ on the Cross (c.1632, Prado) - Zurbaran (1598-1664) Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) and Juan de Valdes Leal (1622-1690).

In the Spanish colony of Naples, the Catholic Neapolitan School of Painting (1600-56) was led by a series of devout artists such as: Battistello Caracciolo (1578-1635), Jusepe Ribera (1591-1652), Guido Reni (1575-1642) and Lanfranco (1582-1647). After the plague of 1654-55, the Neapolitan Baroque was represented by masters like Mattia Preti (1613-99) and Luca Giordano (1634-1705) both had studied Caravaggio in Naples and both had absorbed the legacy of Venetian painting from the cinquecento, notably the work of Paolo Veronese (1528-88).

Spanish sculptors who contributed to the Catholic Counter-Reformation included: Juan de Juni (1506-77) Jeronimo Hernandez (1540-86) Pablo de Rojas (1549-1611) Andres de Ocampo (1555-1623) Juan Martinez Montanes (1568-1649) Gregorio Fernandez (1576-1636) Alonso Cano (1601-67) and Pedro Roldan (1624-99).

Catholic Art in Flanders

Unlike their Dutch rivals to the north, the Catholic Flemish painters of the Spanish Netherlands (Flanders was a Spanish colony) continued to paint large-scale religious canvases, for ecclesiastical clients. Flemish painting of the late 16th and 17th centuries was dominated by Rubens (1577-1640) and his leading pupil Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641). Among Rubens' many masterpieces of Catholic art are: Samson and Delilah (1610, National Gallery, London) Massacre of the Innocents (1611, Private Collection) Descent from the Cross (Rubens) (1612-14, Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp) Christ Risen (1616, Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence) Christ on the Cross (1620, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp) and The Assumption of the Virgin (1626, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC).

Counter-Reformation art spread throughout Catholic Europe and then into the overseas Spanish Catholic colonies of Asia and the Americas. Championed by the Jesuits and Franciscans, it inspired overseas groups such as the Cuzco School, the Quito School, and Chilote School of Catholic imagery.

Catholic Counter-Reformation paintings and sculpture can be seen in some of the best art museums in the world.

• For more about Roman Catholic painting and sculpture, see: Homepage.


Academic Art The mode of painting and sculpture approved by official academies of fine arts, notably the French Academy and the Royal Academy.


Samson and Delilah (1830) by
Peter Paul Rubens, whose style of
painting represented the more
colourful dramatic school within
the academies.


The Valpincon Bather (1808) by
Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres
doyen of the more conservative
academic style of art.
See Female Nudes in Art History.

WORLD'S GREATEST ARTWORKS
For the Top 300 oils, watercolours
see: Greatest Paintings Ever.
For the Top 100 works of sculpture
see: Greatest Sculptures Ever.

In fine art, the term "Academic art" (sometimes also "academicism" or "eclecticism") is traditionally used to describe the style of true-to-life but highminded realist painting and sculpture championed by the European academies of art, notably the French Academy of Fine Arts. This "official" or "approved" style of art, which later came to be closely associated with Neoclassical painting and to a lesser extent the Symbolism movement, was embodied in a number of painterly and sculptural conventions to be followed by all artists. In particular, there was a strong emphasis on the intellectual element, combined with a fixed set of aesthetics. Above all, paintings should contain a suitably highminded message. Artists whose works have come to typify the ideals of academic art include Peter-Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), Jean-Antoine Gros (1771-1835), J.A.D. Ingres (1780-1867) Paul Delaroche (1797-1856), Ernest Meissonier (1815-91), Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904), Alexandre Cabanel (1823-89), Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-98), Thomas Couture (1815-79), and William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905).

The history of the French Academy - whose formation only gained official approval as a means of boosting the political authority of the King - perfectly illustrates the problems of establishing such a monolithic system of cultural control. From its foundation in 1648, the French Academy sought to impose its authority on the teaching, production and exhibition of fine art, but subsequently proved incapable of modernizing or adapting to changing tastes and techniques. As a result, by the 19th century it was increasingly ignored and sidelined, as modern artists such as Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso revolutionized the theory and practice of art.

From the sixteenth century onwards, a number of specialized art schools sprang up across Europe, beginning in Italy. These schools - known as 'academies' - were originally sponsored by a patron of the arts (typically the pope, a King or a Prince), and undertook to educate young artists according to the classical theories of Renaissance art. The development of these artistic academies was a culmination of the effort (begun by Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo) to upgrade the status of practising artists, to distinguish them from mere craftsmen engaged in manual labour, and to emancipate them from the power of the guilds. For more, see History of Academic Art (below).


The Death of Sardanapalus (1827)
Louvre, Paris. By Eugene Delacroix,
the romantic dramatic painter, whose
style offended the academic hierarchy.


Execution of Lady Jane Grey (1833)
National Gallery, London.
By Paul Delaroche.
An ideal example of academic art.

Characteristics of Academic Art

The most important principles of Academic art, as laid down by the French Academy, can be expressed as follows:

The Academy was at pains to promote an "intellectual" style of art. In contrast, say, to the "sensuous" style of the Rococo, the "socially-aware" style of French Realism, the "visual" style of the Impressionism, or the "emotional" style of Expressionism. It considered fine art to be an intellectual discipline, involving a high degree of reason, thus the "rationality" of a painting was all-important. Such rationality was exemplified by a work's subject-matter, its use of classical or religious allegory, and/or by its references to classical, historical or allegorical subjects. Careful planning - through preliminary sketching or use of wax models - was also valued.

Great importance was placed upon the 'message' of the painting, which should be appropriately "uplifting" and have a high moral content. This principle was the basis for the official "Hierarchy of the Genres", a ranking system first announced in 1669, by the Secretary to the French Academy. The genres were listed in the following order of importance: (1) History Painting (2) Portrait art (3) Genre Painting (4) Landscapes (5) Still Life Painting. The idea was that history paintings were better platforms from which to communicate a highminded message. A battle scene or a piece of Biblical art would convey an obvious moral message about (say) courage or spirituality, whereas a still-life picture of a vase of flowers would struggle to do the same. In practice, artists succeeded in injecting moral content into all types of pictures, including still lifes. See, for instance, the genre of vanitas painting, mastered by Harmen van Steenwyck (1612-56) and others, which typically depicted an array of symbolic objects, all of which conveyed a series of moral messages based on the futility of life without Christian values.

As well as Christian principles or humanistic qualities, academic artists were encouraged to communicate some eternal truth or ideal to the viewer. Hence some academic paintings are no more than simple allegories with names like "Dawn", "Evening", "Friendship" and so on, in which the essence of these ideals are embodied by a single figure.

3. Other Artistic Conventions

Over time the Academic authorities gradually built up a series of painterly rules and conventions. Here is a small selection:

• Artists should use 'idealized' rather than 'overly realistic' forms thus realism - in faces, bodies, or details of scenes, was discouraged. Ironically, Ingres, the doyen of the Academy, was criticized for the abnormal length of the model's back in La Grand Odalisque (1814, Louvre).

• History paintings should depict people in historical dress. For example, Benjamin West (1738-1820) caused a scandal with The Death of General Wolfe (1770, National Gallery of Art, Ottowa), which was the first major history painting to feature contemporary costume.

• Complex rules governed the use of linear perspective and foreshortening, in keeping with Renaissance theory. Likewise in the way light was handled, and in matters of chiaroscuro.

• Bright colours should be used sparingly. The debate about the significance of colour rumbled on in the Academy for more than two centuries: see the role of Rubens and Delacroix, as outlined below.

• Colour should be naturalistic: grass should be green, and so on. This alone disqualified Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists from academic approval.

• The paint surface should be smooth with no trace of brushstrokes. Impasto was out, expressive brushwork was out: the Academy insisted upon a polished finish.

History and Development of Academic Art

The above characteristics of academic art didn't appear overnight. Rather they emerged over time, as the result of several ongoing debates between differing viewpoints, typically embodied by certain artists who then became "models" to be copied. There were several debates, such as:

Disegno or Colorito: Which Has Primacy?

The Italian Renaissance embraced two important factions: the Florentine Renaissance faction that championed "disegno" (design) and the Venetian Renaissance faction that preferred "colorito" (colour). The difference between these two factions can be summarized as follows:

To a Florentine, a painting consisted of shape/design plus colour: in other words colour was a quality to be added to design. But to a Venetian, a painting consisted of shape/design fused with colour: in other words, it was inseparable from design. In Florence, colour was regarded as an attribute of the object to which it belonged: so a blue hat or a green tree were patches of blue and green confined within the boundary lines of those objects. In Venice, colour was understood to be a quality without which the hat or the tree could hardly be said to exist, thus a painter's ability to mix colour pigments was all-important.

Not long after the French Academy was reorganized in 1661, the Renaissance debate was revived by two rival factions. The issue concerned which style of art was superior - that of the French artist Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) or that of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Poussin specialized in medium-format mythological painting and classical, pastoral landscapes - see, for instance, Et in Arcadia Ego (1637, Louvre, Paris - and valued clarity and rationality above everything. To many, this highminded rational approach made him the perfect embodiment of the ideals of the Academy. Rubens, on the other hand, painted all the great religious and historical scenes with enormous verve and style, and with a wonderful eye for sumptuous colour. In simple terms, the question was: should Poussin's line (disegno), or Rubens' colour (colorito) predominate? At a higher level, the issue was about what lay at the heart of art: intellect or emotion? The issue was never conclusively resolved - not least because both were such exceptional artists - and it resurfaced a century and a half later

In the 19th century, the argument was revived but this time with new champions. Now it was the neoclassical, cool, polished paintings of the political artist Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) - see: Death of Marat (1793) and Oath of the Horatii (1785) - and his follower J.A.D. Ingres (1780-1867), versus the colourful, dramatic, Romanticism of Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). Ingres was the ultimate Academician, whose muted portraits, female nudes and history paintings were exquisitely arranged and polished according to classical convention. In contrast, Delacroix was the fiery hero of French Romanticism whose large-scale vigorous, sometimes violent canvases (albeit carefully prepared and sketched) represented a much more uninhibited interpretation of classical theory. (In comparision, one painter who straddled both sides of this stylistic divide was the Napoleonic history painter Antoine-Jean Gros: 1771-1835).

The debate eventually went in favour of Ingres, who was appointed director of the French Academy in Rome (1835-40). However, the aim of the French art world soon became to synthesize the line of Classicism with the colour of Romanticism. The academician William-Adolphe Bouguereau, for instance, believed that the trick to being a good artist is recognizing the fundamental interdependence of line and colour, a view echoed by the academician Thomas Couture who said that whenever someone described a painting as having better colour or better line, it was really nonsense, because colour depended on line to convey it, and vice versa.

Copy Old Masters or Copy Nature?

Another debate over Academic art style concerned basic working methods. Was it better for an artist to learn art by looking at nature, or by scrutinizing the paintings of Old Masters? Put another way, which was superior - the intellectual ability to interpret and organize what one sees, or the ability to reproduce what one sees? In a way, this academic debate anticipated the argument among Impressionists and Post-Impressionists as to the merits of meticulous studio-painting versus spontaneous plein-air painting.

NOTE: None of these issues had a precise answer and, in general, the argument dwelt on which artist or what type of painting best synthesized the competing features. The principal weakness of the Academy as an institution, lay in its assumption that there was a 'correct' approach to art, and (more importantly) that they were the right body to find it.

Meanwhile, European painters and sculptors moved on in their ceaseless quest for new art styles, new colour-schemes, new forms of composition, and new types of brushstrokes, without paying too much heed to the doctrinal arguments which raged inside the academies. The powerful modern paintings of Gustave Courbet (The Painter's Studio, 1855, Musee d'Orsay), Whistler (Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl 1862, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC), Jean-Francois Millet (The Gleaners 1857, Musee d'Orsay and Man with a Hoe, 1862, Getty Museym LA), Edouard Manet (Olympia, 1863, Musee d'Orsay), and Claude Monet (Impression: Sunrise 1872, Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris or Nympheas 1920-6, Orangerie Museum, Paris), were more than a match for those conformist academic painters such as Alexandre Cabanel, Jean-Leon Gerome and Adolphe-William Bouguereau.

How the Academies Controlled Art Education and Exhibitions

The French Academy had a virtual monopoly on the teaching, production and exhibition of visual art in France - most other academies were in the same position. As a result, without the approval of the Academy a budding painter could neither obtain an official "qualification", nor exhibit his works to the public, nor gain access to official patronage or teaching positions. In short, the Academy held the key to an artist's future prosperity.

How Academic Art Was Taught

Academy schools taught art according to a strict set of conventions and rules, and involved only representational art: there was no abstract art permitted. Until 1863 classes inside the academy were based entirely on the practice of figure drawing - that is, drawing the works of Old Masters. Copying such masterpieces was considered to be the only means of absorbing the correct principles of contour, light, and shade. The style taught by academy teachers was known as academic art.

Students began with drawing, first from prints or drawings of classical Greek sculpture or the paintings of Old Masters such as Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Raphael (1483-1520) of the High Renaissance era. Having completed this stage, students then had to present drawings for evaluation. If successful, they then moved on to drawing from plaster casts or originals of antique statuary. Once again, they then had to present drawings for evaluation. If successful, they were allowed to copy from live male nudes (known as 'drawing from life').

Note: one side-effect of the focus on drawing from the male nude was to make it diffficult for women artists to gain admittance to the Academy, until the second half of the 19th century (1861 for the London Royal Academy), due to moral issues.

Only after completing several years training in drawing, as well as anatomy and geometry, were students allowed to paint: that is, to use colour. Indeed, painting was not even on the curriculum of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (the French Academy's school) until 1863: instead students had to join the studio of an academician in order to learn how to paint. (Note: Among the best of the academician studios was the studio of Gustave Moreau, in Paris.) This dogmatic teaching method was reinforced by strict entry qualifications and course assessments. For example, entry to the Parisian Ecole des Beaux-Arts was only possible for students who passed an exam and possessed a letter of reference from a noted Professor of art. If accepted, the student began the fine arts course, advancing in stages (as we have seen) only after presenting a portfolio of drawings for approval. In addition, regular art competitions were held under timed conditions, to record each students' ability.

At the same time, the academies maintained the strict ranking system of the painting genres. History Painting was the highest form, followed by portraiture, genre paintings, landscapes and finally still life. Thus, the highest prizes were therefore awarded to history painters - a practice which caused much discontent among student artists.

Typically, each academy of art staged a number of exhibitions (salons) during the year, which attracted great interest from art buyers and collectors. In order for a painting to be accepted by the Salon, it first had to be approved by the Salon "jury" - a committee of academicians who vetted each submission.

A successful showing at one of these displays was a guaranteed seal of approval for an aspiring artist. Since several thousand paintings would usually be on display, hung from eye-level to the ceiling, there was tremendous competition to secure prime position from the Hanging Committee, who as usual were influenced by the genre of a painting and (no doubt) by the 'academic conformity' of its artist.

The French Academy, for instance, had its own official art exhibition, known as the Paris Salon. First held in 1667, the Salon was the most prestigious art event in the world. As a result, its influence on French painting - in particular on artistic style, painterly conventions and the reputation of artists was enormous. Until the 1850s the Paris Salon was enormously influential: up to 50,000 visitors might attend on a single Sunday, and as many as 500,000 might visit the exhibition during its 8-week run. A successful showing at the Salon gave an artist a huge commercial advantage.

Even if an artist had graduated successfully from an Academy school and had 'shown' at the Salon, his future prospects were still largely dependent on his status with the academy. Artists who showed regularly at the Paris Salon, and whose paintings or sculptures were 'approved of', might be offered Associate and ultimately Full membership of the academy (Academician status). Securing this coveted accolade was the goal of any ambitious painter or sculptor. Even Impressionist painters who had been rejected by the Salon - like Manet, Degas and Cezanne - still continued to submit works to the Salon jury in the hope of acceptance.

Note: Although the British Royal Academy (RA) shared some of the weaknesses of the French Academie des Beaux-Arts and others, it adopted a more independent line. For example, the unorthodox style of JMW Turner did not prevent his becoming the youngest ever member of the RA.

By the 1860s, the French Academy and others had lost touch with artistic trends and continued stubbornly to promote a form of academic art, and a rigid teaching method, that was old-fashioned and out of touch with modern styles. (They still ranked paintings according to the "Hierarchy of Genres" [see above], thus for example a history painting always 'outranked' a landscape, and would therefore be 'hung' in a better position in the Salon.)

Due to this inability to keep up to date, the Salon became more and more conservative, and ultimately went into a serious decline. The first overt sign of trouble came in 1863 with the announcement by the French ruler Emperor Napoleon III that a special Salon des Refuses would be held, simultaneously with the official Salon, to showcase all works that had been rejected by the Salon jury. The alternative Salon proved as popular as the official one. Even so, it is worth remembering that French Impressionism - still the world's most popular style of painting - was rejected by the official Salon, forcing its adherents to exhibit privately. See Impressionist Exhibitions in Paris (1874-86).

In fairness, one should note that not every painting hung in the French Academy's annual Salon was old-fashioned in style or backward-looking in content. Some progressive paintings did get past the jury. Such works included: the historical painting Joan of Arc (1879, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY) by Jules Bastien-Lepage the Orientalist painting Hassan et Namouna (1870, Private Collection) by Henri-Alexandre-Georges Regnault The Death of Francesca da Rimini and of Paolo Malatesta (1870, Musee d'Orsay, Paris) by Alexandre Cabanel, Jean-Leon Gerome's classical Pollice Verso (1872, Phoenix Art Museum) Pierre-Auguste Cot's neo-Rococo picture Spring (1873, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and William-Adolphe Bouguereau's The Wave (1896, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY).

Later, more progressive alternative Salons - like the Salon des Independants, founded by Albert Dubois-Pillet, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, and the Salon d'Automne, initiated by Hector Guimard, Frantz Jourdain, Georges Desvallieres, Eugene Carriere, Felix Vallotton and Edouard Vuillard - emerged to provide the public with a full range of modern art. In the period 1884 to 1914, these new Salons helped to introduce revolutionary new styles of painting to the public, including Neo-Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism, to name but three. Only then did the public get to see abstract paintings and abstract sculpture.

Academic Art in the Late 19th Century

By the 1880s, there were two systems of art operating in France, in parallel: the "official" system of academic art, involving the Academy of Fine Arts, and its school the Ecole des Beaux Arts (it had relinquished control of the Salon in 1881) and an alternative system of modern art, involving private schools, plus the Salon des Independants and other private exhibition venues.

The official system catered for conservative circles - for instance, both sculpture and architecture were run by strong believers in academic art - but had no real influence elsewhere, not least because it failed to encourage innovation. It was criticised by Realist artists like Gustave Courbet for its promotion of idealism, instead of paying more attention to contemporary social concerns. It was criticized by Impressionist painters for its cosmetic manicured finish, whereby artists were obliged to alter the painting to conform to academic stylistic standards, by idealizing the images and adding perfect detail. And practitioners of both Realism and Impressionism strongly objected to the low ranking accorded to landscapes, genre paintings and still lifes in the academic hierarchy of the genres.

Meanwhile the alternative system was flourishing. All serious art collectors, dealers and art critics in Paris paid far more attention to new developments in the Salon des Independants than they did to the same old repetitive style of academic painting in the official Salon. Private schools prospered, including the Academie Julian (started 1868), Charles Gleyre's School (started 1843), Academie Colarossi (started 1870) and the Lhote Academy (started 1922). In London, the leading unofficial academy was the Slade School of Fine Art (opened 1871), which competed with the hopelessly arid teaching methods of the official Royal Academy. There were other schools that taught art design, such as the famous German Bauhaus design school (1919-32). Meanwhile Secession - see, for instance, the Munich Secession (1892), the Vienna Secession (1897) and the Berlin Secession movement (1898) - was sweeping across Europe, setting up progressive alternative organizations to the old-style academies. In short, by the turn of the century, everything that was new, innovative and exciting was happening 'outside' the official system.

European Academies of Fine Art: Origins and History

The first modern art academy was the Academy of Art in Florence founded in 1562 by the painter, architect and art historian Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), under Grand Duke Cosimo 1 de Medici.

The second important art academy, the Academy of Art in Rome (named after Saint Luke, the patron saint of painters), initiated in Rome about 1583, was sponsored by the Pope and presided over by the painter Federico Zuccaro (1542-1609). Due to opposition by powerful local painters guilds, the spread of art academies throughout Italy was slow.

Growth of the Academy System

Outside Italy, the first academy to be established (1583) was at Haarlem in Holland, under Karel Van Manda (1548-1606). In France, the first was the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, founded in Paris in 1648 through the efforts of the painter Charles Lebrun (1619-1690), whose influence on French painting and sculpture was dominant during the period 1663-83.

Despite its close affinity with the Italian academies, which were greatly respected by travellers on the Grand Tour, the French Royal Academy was much more active. It opened branches in provincial cities, it awarded scholarships for study at the French Academy in Rome and became the model for all the other royal and imperial academies of Northern Europe.

In due course, fine art schools were established in Nuremberg Academy (1674) by Joachim Von Sandrart (1606-1688), Poland (1694), Berlin (1697), Vienna (1705), St Petersberg (1724), Stockholm (1735), Copenhagen (1738), Madrid (1752), London (1768).

Lesser academies were set up during the eighteenth century in several German states, and in cities in Italy and Switzerland. The first official American Academy of the Fine Arts appeared in Philadelphia, in 1805. In Ireland, there are two academies of visual art: the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), founded in 1823, and the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts (RUA), established in 1930.

Academic Art in the 20th-Century - Largely Irrelevant

The reputation of academic-style art fell further during the first three decades of the 20th-century. First, as mentioned above, there was the Expressionist movement followed by Cubism, both of which were seen as wholly anti-establishment. Then, during the period 1916-25, the Dada movement attacked the very idea of traditional art. After this, with the exception of figurative Surrealism (1925-50) and American Scene Painting (1925-45), abstraction dominated art until at least the 60s. Thus, movements like Neo-Plasticism (1918-31), Abstract Expressionism (1947-65), and Op-Art (1955-70), to name but three, championed a completely different set of aesthetics to that of academic art. None of these styles necessitated any form of academic training, or traditional craftsmanship, and most seemed to contradict some, if not all, of the rules laid down by the Greeks, re-discovered by the Italian Renaissance and promoted by the academies.

After 1960, the art world - whose centre was now located in New York, not Paris - dumbed down even further - the mass consumer imagery of Pop Art contrasting with the austere severity of Minimalism. To confuse matters further, completely new types of art were invented, such as Conceptual art, and Installation art. New forms of fine art photography emerged, as well as various types of digital and computer art. By the late 1980s/ early 1990s, contemporary art competitions, like the Turner Prize were rarely, if ever, won by traditional or academically trained artists. In other words, on the surface at least - the fine art academy had - by 2000 - become almost irrelevant to the mainstream practice of art.

Academic Art in the 21st-Century: Old Values v Computer Software

Nonetheless, while there remains a superficial gulf between the style of postmodern art and the style of academic painting, there are reasons to think that things may change. This despite the fact that non-academic art - as exemplified by artists like Francis Bacon (1909-92), Andy Warhol (1928-87) and Picasso (1881-1973) - is the most fashionable type of art in the salerooms of auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's.

So why might there be a resurgence of academic art? Well, let's get one thing straight, art taught in today's academies is very different to that taught 50 years ago, let alone 100 years ago. So academic art itself has undergone significant modernization, in both content and methods of instruction. But the main reason why it may become more important, is that today it is abstract, hypermodern art which dominates: it is this stuff that is now mainstream. So perhaps collectors will look for something new - like a return to old values, at least in painting or sculpture. Against this, is the ever-increasing power of computers, with their art and design software, and other online tools, that may eventually make all hand-made art redundant, if not extinct.

• For other art movements and periods, see: History of Art.
• For more about arts education, see: Homepage.


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