Teacher Finds Little Boys Looking at Nude Art, Turns It into a Wonderful Teaching Moment

Christopher Jobson (left) is the mind behind Colossal, one of Neatorama's favorite art blogs. In an interview by the National Endowment for the Arts, Christopher described an early encounter with art. His teacher, Donna Bryan Goetz, found him and his friends getting a wrong impression from classical nudes. Her response was brilliant:

In second grade my buddies and I went to the school library and found an old art history book. Flipping through the pages, we discovered large fold-outs of classical oil paintings that depicted nudes in various poses, and, as you might expect from a group of little boys, we started snickering and fighting over the book. At that moment, our teacher came over and caught us. Without saying a word, she grabbed the book and carefully removed several of the fold-out spreads. We were shocked. And embarrassed. And a little terrified. Apparently, it was okay to tear apart books with “inappropriate” images.

Later that day, when we came back to class after lunch, all the pages of nude paintings had been laminated and were now hung on the walls where they remained for months. That might have been the moment I truly began to recognize and respect creative expression. It was an extremely important lesson about art and context that made a huge impression on myself as well as all the other students.

Link | Photo: Kat Powers


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"I dunno how long ago this was, but she could just google some art and then print it..."

The man in the photo doesn't look like he'd be a young boy at the time Google was about and widespread.

As far as destroying the book goes, if she donated a replacement copy or paid for one, I see nothing wrong with this.
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The book exists to educate those students and also the ones that come after them. By ripping the pages that teacher ensured that scenario wont occur once again. I hope she replaced the book afterwards.

I dunno how long ago this was, but she could just google some art and then print it... no need to destroy anything. I agree with Nikki.

Also, the "souls" of no children will be affected by curiosity and instinctual behavior when exposed to any type of nudity. I can't understand why some people think kids should not be exposed to nudity and sexuality. ITS NOT DIRTY DAMN IT!

If they are old enough to ask, they are old enough to know.
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The book exists to educate readers, not to be preserved for its own sake. The teacher found a good use for the book in order to educate her students. Apparently her action left a lasting impression on at least one person of influence.
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Worth it. A single book is just a print... There was some money lost there, but not a terrible amount. That lesson would definitely be worth the loss.
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