There is an unfinished quality to this work, mainly due to the interminged existence of thick impastos, bare canvas, dripping paint, and the light stain of a horizontal stroke across the canvas. Up close, Reclining Nude divulges its creation story. The dripping of paint in the bottom left corner suggests she worked standing, allowing herself to zoom in and out, touching the canvas and then moving away to see the work in its entirety. The quick, uneven, scribbling strokes of her paintbrush leave thick paint in some areas, and an almost untouched canvas in others. Do the black, sunken features and shut eyes indicate pain or just a deep slumber?
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Between the s and the s, several ivy league colleges had a very strange requirement for all their incoming freshmen students. Harvard, Yale, Wellesley College, Vassar as well as Brown University, were among the elite American colleges that asked all the young men and women enrolled in their first year, to pose nude. He wrote:.
Under the watchful eye of a Yale representative, Smithsonian officials shredded nude photographs taken decades ago of Yale students as part of research into a since-discredited scientific theory. More than pounds of photos and negatives were emptied into a shredder Friday at a museum office in Suitland, Md. Yale lawyers wanted the photos destroyed to protect the privacy of its graduates, many of whom have since gone on to become leaders in culture and politics. Posing for the photos was required of students at many Ivy League colleges and other prestigious schools, including Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Vassar and Swarthmore. The photos were taken beginning in the early s as part of physical education classes. Later, from the s to the s, a researcher named W. Sheldon took photographs as part of his studies.