Art Education and Nude Models

It is pretty common for figure drawing curriculum in art programs at secular colleges to use undraped and nude models who are often paid. This goes against God's word of course because public modesty is endorsed in the Bible.

It was disturbing to learn of one Christian college, Gordon College that has nude models in their figure drawing classes. We feel their policy is very misguided.

The below paragraph in the policy for Gordon College is disturbing:

In our teaching, the nude has much more in common with medical knowledge than with popular sexualization of images in advertising and movies. The context of the encounter determines the meaning of the unclothed form. An operating theater in a hospital has a drastically different meaning from that of a strip joint. An art studio with students or artists surrounding a model is akin to the operating theater. Knowledge is being gained and a professional activity is being practiced.

Their arguments are ridiculous and it is interesting that they argue that nudity is okay in name of art like medicine. God has always been the God of moral absolutes. There is no disclaimer in the bible that nudity before a person of the opposite sex is okay for art classes.

We have included a rebuttal to this other disturbing paragraph in red below:

Gordon College students who are serious about the study of art would be handicapped in their capacity to render the draped or clothed human form if they were denied the opportunity to study anatomy in the undraped form. Likewise, it is necessary to study the skeleton and the musculature in order to gain a thorough knowledge of the forms one encounters on the surface of the body. Gordon College Art majors are required to study all of the above. You can only draw what you can see, and that which you cannot see cannot be fully known.

This is not true. Art students can easily draw nude bodies from seeing drawings of bodies from text books. There is no need for nude models at all.

We encourage all Christians who are art students to refuse participate in figure drawing classes when there are nude models present. We appreciate the Christian colleges such as Calvin College that have followed biblical standards by not allowing nude models.

Check out our video, Art Education and Nude Models.


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