Do you sometimes wonder what century you live in?
I've just been on vacation in the East Coast, and hit the ground working upon my return West. While East in Washington, DC and Virginia, I was immersed in the Age of Enlightenment, absorbed in the modern ideals of the Founding Fathers. But returning West, my time travel simply overshot the clock face dials. Somehow, I'd left the Age of Reason only to be ejected into the Dark Ages. Information is still feared in some places.
I am fortunate to be entrusted with shaping minds, young and old, in my roles within non-profit organizations here. But once in a while, the cautious nature of institutions gets in the way of encouraging critical thought. So I ask you, my blog sphere friends whom I know are sophisticated and independent thinkers:
Is it improper to show teenagers Michelangelo's "David", Botticelli's "Birth of Venus", Manet's "Luncheon on the Grass", and other seminal works of art, simply because their subjects are unclad? (The underlying discussion was meant to show developments in art accompanying shifts in philosophy, politics, society, etc.)
|Edouard Manet's "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe", Musée d'Orsay|
edited by The Foolish Aesthete
"Controversial" is not a typical adjective I would assign myself. But my little effort in sharing mankind's cultural heritage, or explaining shifts in art history, was met with resistance. It's surprising to be a radical in this corner of the world, in this day and age. Suddenly, I have a deeper sense for what intellectuals in China or the Middle East experience.
Manet would be scratching his head to see the cause célèbre of the 1863 Salon des Refusés suffering the same notoriety today -- for much the same reasons!
Ah me, the tortuous course of human history. Our march forward remains fraught with detours in reverse.
Curious to see what you all think! I hope you are all well and I'll be dropping by soon ...