Is Nudity Warping Children’s Minds?

027 A story receiving less press than the Texas teacher scandal is another in New York of an art Teacher who is currently suspended and may be fired after recommending to some of his advanced students that they take life drawing classes. The image above is from one of the students involved.

PETE PANSE is a talented and popular high school art teacher in Middletown, NY who uses traditional techniques to to train his students. In December 2005 Mr. Panse was suspended from his job for recommending that some of his advanced students consider taking figure drawing courses that included nude figure drawings. Mr. Panse is suspended from his job pending hearings after which he may be permanently fired, ending a 25-year teaching career. In the meantime, his students are sitting in study hall learning nothing and failing to prepare the materials necessary for their receiving scholarships.

ARC ARTicles – The Case of Pete Panse – Brian Yoder – Page 1/1:

Has the entire world gone mad? I did life drawing from my early teens and modeled for life drawing in my mid teens. I don’t see it as a big deal personally. the most difficulty I had with it was my first male model when I was a little uncertain as to wether to draw the bits in or not. I think they were very worthwhile experiences. I certainly never had issue with the nudity and neither did my parents.

I think the problem a lot of people are having with this is not understanding the visual relationship between an artist and their model. This is not a sexual thing! no matter what relationship the artist and model may have outside the studio there is a magic that happens when the model adopts the pose that turns them into a breathing still life. They become the sum of their angles, curves and shadows.

There is a lot of controversy being thrown up from these debates I think it is sad that teachers are being blamed for daring to encourage children’s creativity. maybe is it the fault of artists throughout history for being fascinated by the human body – how dare they?

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13 thoughts on “Is Nudity Warping Children’s Minds?

  1. “Has the entire world gone mad?”

    Don’t be silly, it’s just United States of America gone mad and the rest of the world knows it already.

  2. Don’t assume it’s just the US. I read a UK article the other day about how the world of dance is in danger of losing talent because touching is now forbidden in so many places. There’s no way to teach dance properly without the teacher’s physical guidance of body positions, but hey, we know they’re all pervs, anyway. 😦

  3. Id give my left arm to have a regular figure drawing class to attend. I never learned so much as when I took those classes at school, and there was never anything shameful or even very sexual about it- just wonderful exercises for capturing line and shape… something you can’t get anywhere but a live figure drawing class.

    Hooray for that teacher and his encouragement of his advanced students. I hope the school board pulls it’s head out and lets the man continue doing what he does best.

    * shaking head *

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  5. Most people would say that children aren’t sexual, but pedophiles believe they are. Most would say smoking is harmful, though (I’ve heard 😉 ) smoking has a fetish following. So who decides what is and isn’t sexual? It sounds like everyone wants to, you and I included. Bits and boobs may be nothing more than curves and shadows to you, but that may not be the case for someone else. So who gets to decide? I’d say whoever is legally responsible for the student in question. I don’t know the details of this story you are referencing, but I will say this: if he was recommending they take the class at a community college and the parents approved, then by all means let them. But I think it’s perfectly appropriate to give other assignments to high school and younger students so they can learn shape, line, and shadow. Leave the nude drawing for a college education.

  6. It would be unfortunate if Mr. Panse would be fired, he was well intentioned, I suppose. But sometimes, what is good for one student is bad for another, so to avoid the bad, sometimes denial of the good is necessary. An instructional act of an instructor must always be in accordance with a school’s mission-vision.

    Nudity may lift the spirit, but it can prematurely destroy innocence.

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