Tuesday February 24, 2015

Getting Naked: Are Canadians prudish about nudity in art?

A cropped version of Glenn Howarth's Portrait of Laura No. 1, 1973. View this image, and other selections from the Canadian Art Bank's collection, at the bottom of this post.

A cropped version of Glenn Howarth's Portrait of Laura No. 1, 1973. View this image, and other selections from the Canadian Art Bank's collection, at the bottom of this post.

Listen 17:42

Would you be surprised or perhaps offended if you saw a nude painting in a lobby or boardroom? Would your feelings change if you were vacationing in France? 

Curators at THEMUSEUM in Ontario's Waterloo region want to start a conversation about Canadian bashfulness when it comes to art that features nudity. Their new exhibit, Getting Naked, features 100 rarely-seen nudes from The Canadian Art Bank. 

Today, curator Virgina Eichhorn joins guest host Rachel Giese to discuss why the art bank's nudes don't see much action, why male nudes are especially rare, and how Canada compares to other countries when it comes to displaying and appreciating nudity in artwork. 

Browse a selection of the nudes below. (Discretion is advised, of course, for sensitive viewers.) 

N2

Glenn Howarth: Portrait of Laura No. 1, 1973.

N3

Donigan Cumming: Untitled (April 10, 1992). From Pretty Ribbons, 1993.

N4

Gregory Payce: Parian, 2007.