U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: Michallet paper

RE: Michallet paper

On Thu, 14 May 2009, Vedos wrote:

Naturally common practice in any art school (in Europe anyway) - how else would you learn anatomy & life drawing... -jalo

When I was in art school in the 60s (by god) at Syracuse (a Methodist
institution originally) we had some great models who were none to
successful NYC dancers. They would come upstate for a week or so at a
stc, etc. etc.

Guys, I'm talking about long, looong before the '60s... I daresay loong before you were born.... At the Art Students League Saturday children's class I was probably 9 years old, just old enough to come into the city by myself and take the trolley from the train along 42nd Street to the bus up Broadway. The fare was 10, later 15 cents. (Of course they tore the trolley out, and of course now they talk about putting it back.)

We learned anatomy by copying from plaster casts -- we began with "Block Head" (facial planes strongly modelled); then "Muscle Man" (muscles articulated), and "Discus Thrower" (a small "Greek sculpture"), then praying hands, a female cast or two, & on to the life models. (After all this, if I may say so, a penis would have been a no-brainer.)

Years later, I transferred from college to the Art Institute of Chicago art school, which turned out to be 19th-century Bible Belt academic. Some good practice (9-hour poses drawn with hard charcoal -- training I made money from a decade later), but STILL no penises....They never heard of modern art, either, so I transferred to Cooper Union, no penises there either, & just one semester of photography: some photograms, then rest of the semester spent lighting one wine bottle & one drape. Then the teacher (an import from Europe !) came around with ancient camera on ancient tripod and, he claimed, photographed our set-ups, but "none of them were good enough to print."

As soon as I left, BTW, the Art Institute of Chicago became excellent... Still, we'd gone to our classes each day through the Museum, passing, for instance, the best Corot in the entire universe (among other treasures)... The History of Art course was also terrific. (Wish I remembered it all now.)