The Full Monty

It’s not that I call around town to find this stuff, really. But people do call and e-mail me. And, I’ve check this one out with two sources, so I’m going to share.

It seems Brookfield East has had student drawn nudes hanging in the front art gallery for a while. I have an e-mail in to the principal, Brett Bowers, to see what the policy is on this.

Of course, I also asked my “inside” source. It didn’t phase her in the least, but this is a kid that’s been through some of the premier galleries of the world. “Mom, it’s art!” she said.

But then there’s me, Cindy taxpayer, homemaker, fairly conservative member of the community. I’m not sure I expected nudes in the high school art gallery. I mean, this is a high school where they’ll call home and make you bring in a new shirt if your kid is violating the dress code.

Much ado about nothing? I don’t think so. Either we have rules or we don’t. Are they being followed, or is the district distracted? If nudes are considered art, would the same generous application be made for violent works? Would the definition of art in the eye of the beholder lead to anything goes in the high school gallery?

What do you bet the school board doesn’t have a clue.

It’s not that I’m the consummate prude – I do have limits, though. And I am constantly surprised that the high school I send my child to doesn’t.


  1. Are we talking frontal nudes?

  2. At least one. Female, of course.

  3. Well I’m a prude and figure sketches don’t offend me. Drawing the human body is hard work.

  4. But is it appropriate for nudes to be a part of the high school curriculum or display, Kathryn? No one is arguing that drawing the human body is easy.

  5. That’s up to the community. I’m ok with it in the high school, though I would skip the live model–you could go to MAM or Youth Options if that were appropriate for a given student.

    There were nudes on my high school campus, sculptures mainly. The students were interested in art for art’s sake, and each other for ‘other.’ Our dress code was more strict than Elmbrook’s.

  6. Cindy,

    Not to be overly critical here, but do you have an issue with the district in general? It seems you’re trying to find anything and everything to get a controversy alive and going.

  7. I think it’s unusual to allow nudes in a high school gallery. I’m waiting to hear what others think. It doesn’t sound like a big controversy to me, but it is as much local news as students getting arrested or a town supervisor being ticketed.

  8. How much does intent matter?

    It seems to me that there’s a useful distinction to be drawn between a figure study in the Art Room and the pinup in the boiler room.

    Is there a difference between Michaelangelo’s David and Pam Anderson’s Driver’s License Photo? Probably. Is there a line between the Senior Class Art elective and the 6th Grade mandatory Art Class? Most likely.

    Where does it get drawn? I’m not sure but nudes in a HS gallery is probably not something I’d get my knickers in a twist over.

  9. Then where would you draw that line, Grumps?