f you've ever been to an art museum, you've probably encountered — *gasp* — nudity. That's right. Naked bodies. Right up there on the wall!
If that information is too much of a shock to your system, this story might not be the right one for you. But if you can accept the fact that, yes, some art contains naked bodies, read on, friend!
Mateo Rueda is an art teacher at a school in Utah.
Or, well, he was.
After an incident that occurred in December, Rueda is out of a job.
That’s because some of his students’ parents are accusing him of showing pornographic images to their kids during art class.
Now about those "pornographic" images. Yeah, those parents are actually referring to works of art like Modigliani's female nude shown here:
This may be crazy, but we are pretty darn sure that is not pornography. In fact, we’re almost positive this painting falls into the category of “era-defining art by a masterclass artist.”
Also included in those "pornographic" images is this piece by François Boucher:
In case you’re not aware, Boucher was one of the most celebrated painters of the 18th century.
He typically worked in the Rococo style and — oh yeah, sometimes his paintings featured women who were not wearing clothes.
When some parents of Rueda’s students heard that the teacher had shown him the above paintings, they were livid. They called the school principal and demanded disciplinary action. At least one parent even called the police to report Rueda.
Rueda was first placed on administrative leave, then ultimately fired. But this is where the story gets even crazier. First of all, Rueda wasn't "showing" the paintings to his students.
In fact, he told his students to look through the classroom library in order to find examples of art that exemplified the color relationships they were studying in class. Like an art teacher might do.
Included in that classroom library were some postcards from a set called The Art Box… which the school had purchased for use in art classes. It was in this set of postcards that students found a couple paintings of nude people.
Yes, you read that right.
The school bought the postcards that contained depictions of nudity and then fired the teacher for providing access to said postcards as part of the classroom instruction! This is obviously both bananas and bonkers.
Rueda had no intention of showing his students images that contained nudity. In fact, he later said about the postcards, “This is not material at all that I would use. I had no idea.”
After Rueda was officially fired, many parents spoke up in his defense…