Four Nudes Too Nude For Texas

As has been reported before, Ms. Sydney McGee, an 28-year veteran art teacher in a Texas elementary school has been suspended after a parent complained that his/her child saw nude art during a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art. The field trip had been approved by the principal; there were other teachers and parents along; and the museum reports it has never had such a complaint from a school group in its history.
The teacher retraced the group’s steps for the NY Times, which noted the following nude works:
Figure of a Young Man from a Funerary Relief, Greek; Attic
c. 330 BC


The Shade, Auguste Rodin, 1880 [which is under 1m tall, btw]


Flora, Aristide Maillol, 1911 [which is actually draped with a robe of some sort]


And Star in a Dream, Jean Arp, 1958, the nudity of which seems to me beyond the reach of most fifth grade imaginations.


There is, however, another Arp that fits the description of β€œan abstract nude sculpture,” a phrase the principal apparently cited in the suspension:
Sculpture Classique, 1960, which the artist made in a “conscious attempt” to “emulate the basic forms of Greek art.” If this is the offending sculpture, I think there’s a parent who needs a time out.


Still, my money’s on the Maillol, if for no other reason than that it looks suspiciously like Paul Jennewein’s Spirit of Justice, 1933, a statue whose exposed breast made John Ashcroft want to–well, let’s let him demonstrate. In a way, this whole story now makes perfect sense.