There’s a lot of classical and modern art, of course, that involves nudes, but how often does the museum or gallery visitor get to go nude?
Vienna’s Leopold Museum has invited the public to come in the nude on Friday to view an exhibition of erotic works by Austrian masters such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, that was one day only, July 29, 2005 — and you had to be in Vienna (not such a bad thing, actually).
The exhibition, titled The Naked Truth: Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and Other Scandals, showcases nude portraits by Austrian artists that scandalised the country at the turn of the century and have in many cases retained their shock value.
Vienna’s Leopold Museum offered free entry on Friday to anybody who came in swimsuits or naked, in response to a summer heat wave with temperatures in the 30s (90s Fahrenheit).
The museum said about 300 women and men in bikinis or bathing trunks, and 10 in their birthday suits, showed up as of midday to tour the exhibit.
Most of those who showed up in little or no attire Friday opted for swimsuits, but a few hardy souls dared to bare more. Among them was Bettina Huth of Stuttgart, Germany, who roamed the exhibition wearing only sandals and a black bikini bottom.
Although she used a program at one point to shield herself from a phalanx of TV cameras, Huth, 52, said she didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
“I go into the steam bath every week, so I’m used to being naked,” she said. “I think there’s a double morality, especially in America. We lived in California for two years, and I found it strange that my children had to cover themselves up at the beach when they were only 3 or 4 years old. That’s ridiculous.”
Of course, we always get ticked off when something or other having to do with nudity is titled the “Naked Truth”, but we can put up with little problems like that in this case.
Originally published August 22, 2005