“The Naked Truth and More Besides. Nude Photography around 1900”

Lon-Gimpel-Beim-Bildhauer-Sculptor

Avert your gaze Puritan Pilgrims, Facebook Friends, and former US attorney generals, (who shall remain un-named): the nude is everywhere. Since the dawn of the last century, when photographs of nudes became ubiquitous, the nude figure has been captured on emulsion and been sold, bartered and displayed the world over.

The Berlin Museum of Photography – the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – exhibits “The Naked Truth and More Besides: Nude Photography around 1900” which features images from the Kunstbibliothek’s collection as well as works on loan from other European institutions, like the Bibliothèque Nationale de France … as well as the Police Museum of Lower Saxony.

The museum’s press materials further disrobe the theme: “Most striking of all, the photographic nude appeared as a reproducible medium – on postcards, cigarette cards, posters, in magazines and in advertising, as inspiration for artists and an incentive for sportsmen, as instructional material, and as collector’s items. From the vast array of material, it is possible to identify several distinct groups that fall under such headings as: the mass produced, visual pleasures (arcadias, eroticism, and pornography), the body in the eye of science (ethnography, motion-study photography, medicine), the cult of the body (reform movements – especially in German-speaking countries – naturism, ‘Free Body Culture’, and staged nudes from the world of sport and variety shows), and, of course, the nude in the artistic context (art academies and the Pictorialist tradition of fine-art prints). The most important characteristic of the image of naked people during this time is the inseparability of nude photographic production and reproduction.”

You can see a photo gallery of images – nudes – from the exhibition, here.

Visit the museum website, for more information, linked here.

Frank-Eugene-Smith-Adam-Eva

“The Naked Truth and More Besides: Nude Photography around 1900”
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
From May 3rd, to August 25th, 2013
Berlin

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