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Life Class Taught by Theresa Pollak at RPI

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M5_B17_TP and VCU_Life Class Taught by Pollak_600ppi.jpg
M5_B17_TP and VCU_Life Class Taught by Pollak_600ppi.jpg
Title: Life Class Taught by Theresa Pollak at RPI
Date: 1950s
Source: VCU James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections & Archives.
Description: Having trained at the progressive Art Student's League of New York, Pollak was a strong believer in the educational value of the nude figure. However, Dean Hibbs knew that the then-conservative Richmond majority would condemn the college's use of nude models, and he insisted on ballet dance costumes as the minimum coverage required.

Nevertheless, Miss Pollak was persistent in her petitioning for the use of nude models in advanced art classes. Over time, the dance costumes gave way to two-piece bathing suits, then to burlesque-inspired "G-straps," and finally to the fully nude figure.

This photograph shows students participating in one of the earliest life classes offered at RPI--a privilege which, at the time, set Pollak's budding art program apart from most other schools in the south.
Subject: Theresa Pollak -- Life Classes at RPI
Format: JPEG
Type: Still image
Citation:
“Life Class Taught by Theresa Pollak at RPI,” VCU Libraries Gallery, accessed October 22, 2019, https://gallery.library.vcu.edu/items/show/2720.