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Semi-nude will be restricted at traveling art showTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo/Image
'Eleanor, Chicago' 1949 photograph by Harry Callahan.
Courtesy Photo/Image
'Girls Swimming' 1964 oil painting by William Theo Brown.
Courtesy Photo/Image
'Isle of Birth', 1951 by Nahum Tschacbosov
Courtesy Photo/Image
'Bay/Sky, Provincetown', 1979 color print by Joel Meyerowitz.

North Platte elementary school students will not see a photograph that shows part of a nude woman in an art exhibit arriving Oct. 12 in North Platte from the Sheldon Art Gallery.

The photograph is of a woman in a swimming pool. It was shot in 1949 by her husband. One of the woman's breasts can be seen, slightly distorted by the water.

That photo has been deemed too revealing to be shown to younger students, associate North Platte superintendent Dan Twarling said Monday at a meeting of the North Platte Board of Education.

Another artwork, an impressionistic oil painting that shows the backs of nude women along the ocean will be shown to all, Twarling said.

The two pieces are among 25 works of art that will be displayed for 30 days at the McKinley Education Center. Students from all public schools typically are bussed to the show and guided through the exhibit.

This show is called “Flow”. The theme is water. Trained guides called “docents” will discuss the artworks with North Platte students. Besides art, the guides will discuss history, geography and nature.

"Flow" will be shown at the McKinley Center, 301 West F St. from Oct. 17-Nov. 14, and Nov. 16-Dec. 16 at the High Plains Museum in McCook.

Water symbolizes “purity, sustenance, tranquility, power, movement and continuity,” Sheldon promotional material says. “Its surface serves as a metaphor for self-reflection and contemplation.”


Three years ago, a painting called “Widow's Walk," by Wilber artist James Cantrell was removed from the traveling Sheldon art show in North Platte and McCook.

That painting was a distant view of the upper half of a women standing in a window of the upper floor of an ornate Victorian house. She is wearing a bra.

Several parents protested that work of art. And, others complained when it was withdrawn from the show.

This time, North Platte school officials began conducting a survey before the show arrrived. They explained the situation in a letter that was sent to parents at three elementary schools. It was planned to go to all elementary parents and was to be discussed Monday at the school board meeting.

After receiving initial responses from parents, North Platte’s elementary principals decided to pull the photograph. Some parents who responded recommended stopping the entire show, Twarling said.

The Sheldon show travels to eight Nebraska schools, from its origin at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

The show is reputable and carefully designed, said Julie Jacobson of North Platte’s arts council.

For a thorough rundown on the show, click HERE.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/9/2007
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