Monday, May 12, 2003

Cincinnati Wing Preview

Victorian viewers flocked to Powers' nudes

By Marilyn Bauer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Counting down to the Saturday opening of Cincinnati Art Museum's Cincinnati Wing.

"Eve Tempted," Hiram Powers' first full-length idealized nude sculpture, was a vision of white marble. Molded in 1842, it showed Eve turning the apple over in her hand, contemplating the yield to temptation.

The biblical context of the statue made it possible for Powers to present a nude within the context of Victorian society. But it was his next statue, "Greek Slave," that made Powers not only a celebrity but financially secure.

An arrestingly lifelike nude figure whose hands are chained before her, "Greek Slave" combined the forces of sensuality and moral restraint in a display of exquisite workmanship.

She was sent on a tour of the United States where she drew large crowds, as well as controversy because of Powers' sensuous depiction of beauty bowed.

The more controversy, of course, the more people flocked to see it. It became the most famous work of art in the 19th century. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a sonnet in her honor and miniature copies of the "Slave" were popular well into the 1900s.

Author Henry James noted sarcastically: "so undressed, yet so refined, in sugar-white alabaster, exposed under little glass covers in such American homes as could bring themselves to think such things right."

Powers sculpted "Eve Disconsolate," the statue in the Cincinnati Wing entryway (and pictured at right) as a companion piece.


Special section about the Cincinnati Wing

Couric-Leno trade could be fun
Other swaps we'd like to see
New talent, local faves best of Jammin'
Cincinnati Wing preview: Powers' nudes
Get to It: A guide to help make your day

Fit City turns focus to food
Work out energy needs before workout
Here's how many calories you need
Fitness Calendar
Fit Bits: Ways to stay active and healthy
Choose exercise star, then supporting cast

It's 'Matrix' mania
'X2' remains No. 1 for second weekend
Jackman stunned by 'X2's' success

Pauley's final 'Dateline' celebrates career
Katey Sagal has no rules for success

Lanois brings studio sound to stage

Revivals vie for Tony nominations

What were Buffy's finest hours?
Death camp survivor owes her life to the cello
Favorite shows may be axed this week
Fast-food salad wars
Small places serve up big-city eats

Furniture school selective
Glass blowing enchanting art
Both butterflies and people like this shrub
Before Barbie, kids dressed up paper dolls
Native plants put down roots worth saving