Rock star gets naked at MFA exhibit

October 14, 2011
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During a private tour last week of the Museum of Fine Arts’ (MFA) upcoming Edgar Degas exhibit, “Degas and the Nude,” rock star and former artist’s model Amanda Palmer got inspired to take her clothes off.

She asked husband,

Courtesy Photo “The Tub” is among the Edgar Degas nudes that inspired Amanda Palmer to follow suit.

fantasy author Neil Gaiman to sketch her nude, right there in the gallery.

The MFA escort just asked that the security cameras be covered, which they were—with coffee cups, according to Gaiman’s blog at journal.neilgaiman.com. Palmer posed nude in front of Degas’ nudes, in a case of life imitating art.

“We have the pictures to prove it!” the MFA tweeted later the same day.

Palmer, known for leading Boston band The Dresden Dolls, narrated the audio guide for the exhibition. She and Gaiman tweeted about their Oct. 4 actions as they happened

As Gaiman said in his Oct. 5 blog entry, Palmer was chosen as narrator “because a) she has a beautiful talking voice and b) she can talk with authority about being nude.”

The MFA did not answer a Gazette email by press time.

“Degas and the Nude,” the first museum exhibition devoted exclusively to the Impressionist artist’s nudes, is a study of his paintings, sketches and other media made during his 50-year career. Many of the pieces have never been on view in the U.S.

The exhibit also includes artists who influenced or were influenced by Degas’s art.

A collaboration with the Museé d’Orsay in Paris, among others, the exhibit will reside at the MFA until February of next year, after which it will move to Paris. The MFA will be the only U.S. venue to host the exhibit.

Degas is best known for depictions of ballerinas in paintings or sculpture. He was a founding member of the Impressionist group, which included Monet, Manet and Renoir.

“Degas and the Nude” will be on exhibit at the MFA through Feb. 5.

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