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Frederick William MacMonnies

American Art

“Nude Art in Museum Stirs Taxpayers.” “Shocked by Nude Art in Brooklyn.” These 1914 headlines were sparked by the debate surrounding Frederick William MacMonnies’s Bacchante, considered by some viewers to be “vulgar” and “immoral.” American audiences were scandalized by both the young woman’s nudity and her seeming intoxication (a bacchante was a female follower of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine).
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES 1894
    DIMENSIONS 86 1/2 x 31 x 33 3/4 in., 1100 lb. (219.7 x 78.7 x 85.7 cm, 498.96kg)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Incised on top of base at proper left side, in script: "F. Mac-Monnies"
    COLLECTIONS American Art
    CREDIT LINE Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Statue of dancing nude female figure holding nude infant boy in proper left hand and holds up a bunch of grapes in her right hand; woman stands on proper right toe on round, stepped pedestal base, bends body to right, and raises left leg across front; she has an expression of delightful abandon with eyes half-closed and a large grin; lion pelt draped over her left arm falls to ground and serves as support; infant looks intently at grapes. Condition: Good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Frederick William MacMonnies (American, 1863–1937). Bacchante, 1894. Marble, 86 1/2 x 31 x 33 3/4 in., 1100 lb. (219.7 x 78.7 x 85.7 cm, 498.96kg). Brooklyn Museum, Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 06.33. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 06.33_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 06.33_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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