Is a fine art painting with nude subject matter always acceptable anywhere in your home? What about photographs by a local artist? Should these works be relegated to more "adult" rooms like the dining room? Where should sculptures be placed and are they more or less acceptable than paintings? Or, should Americans just get over their fear of nudity, especially when it comes to art?
These are questions I'm constantly struggling with because I love figurative drawings, but I also love having guests and always want them to feel comfortable in my home. My quandary is complicated by my adoration of the artist Egon Schiele. I'm attracted to his striking expressionist drawing style, but his subject matter can be a little racy. In 1912, he was arrested and found guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible to children. During his trial, the judge burned one of Egon's offending drawings over a candle flame. Now Egon's drawings are considered genius and are worth up to $20 million (I bet the judge regretted this move 20 years later). Needless to say, a story like this one makes you think twice before you place an Egon Schiele on the wall.
I don't have children, but many of my friends are conservative. I would never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but I also find the fear of nudity in art silly. Many, maybe even most, great artists painted or sculpted nude subject matter, so why should I be limited in my choice of fine art because other people are overly sensitive?
MORE ON THE TOPIC ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
The Proper Place for Nudes
Image: Prima Gallery: David