Nackte Männer - Vienna's Leopold Museum Nude Men Exhibit
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The Naked Exhibit - Leopold Museum - Vienna  Click to Watch on YouTube


For many, the tour of "Nude Men from 1800 to Today" — an exhibit of 300 paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures focused on the bare male — was a goose-bump-raising instance of life imitating art. "I can't say I'm sweating," said office worker Herbert Korvas as he stood waiting in the atrium with other young men, wearing only socks, sneakers and a smile. Despite the cold, he said he was drawn to the idea of naked museum viewing "because it was something different."


nudes for nude man Leopold Museum 


Museum goers shed everything but their shoes and socks to tour "Nude Men from 1800 to Today" during a special opening at the Leopold Museum in Vienna in 2012. These museum goers didn't just leave their coats at the coat check. They handed over their shirts, trousers and underwear. Everything, in fact, except their shoes and socks. After all, the stone floor can get chilly when you're touring an art exhibit in the nude, which was what more than 60 art lovers did in a special after-hours showing at Vienna's prestigious Leopold museum.


 Naked Man Exhibit nude visitors


But after a while it really wasn't. With no other viewers around, nude quickly became the new normal as the visitors quickly gathered around a — dressed — exhibition guide and moved slowly from one art work to the next, listening intently to their history.


nudes for nudes exhibit in Vienna

The Exhibit Looks at How Artists Have Dealt with the Theme of

Male Nudity Over the Centuries

visitors strip down at Leopold


And they weren't the first visitors to get naked either, despite the hoopla around the event that drew dozens of reporters and camera teams from Austria and elsewhere.


streaker led out leopoldmuseum vienna 

A man had already stripped at the exhibition of pictures and sculptures in November, calmly sauntering through the exhibition and dressing again only after a security guard asked him to do so. That act made news — and sparked demand for Monday's all-nude showing, said museum spokesman Klaus Pokorny.


 Paul Cézanne Seated Male Nude Self Portrait 1910

 Paul Cézanne, Seven Bathers (Sieben Badende) - circa 1900

"We got requests from all over the world from people who were inspired by the exhibition ... who asked us, 'Can we visit the exhibition naked?'" he said.  On Mondays, interest was definitely skewed along gender lines. Irina Wolf smiled as she looked around at the mostly male crowd lining up for tickets. The show, which opened on Oct. 19, 2012, has been one of the museum's most popular, drawing over 100,000 visitors.


The oldest exhibit of the exhibition showing the Court Official Snofrunefer naked. Egyptian Old Empire late 5th Dynasty circa 2400 B 

The Oldest Exhibit of the Exhibition Showing the Court Official Snofrunefer  Egyptian Old Empire late 5th Dynasty circa 2400 BC

"I'm at a big advantage here," she said. "Only men around."While Wolf said she is not someone who regularly strips in public places, the 40-something computer engineer and occasional theater critic, said "I want to see how I relate to such a group." For others, Monday's event fulfilled a long-cherished wish — even though they had a hard time explaining why.Florian Kahlenberg from Munich said he found it "interesting to stroll through a museum naked," adding. "I've always wanted to do that."


Wilhelm von Gloeden Flute Concerto 1905

Wilhelm von Gloeden - Flute Concerto 1905

Few visitors, naked or dressed, have complained about the show, despite some explicit material showing sexual acts. Described as among the most successful ever staged by the Leopold, it has drawn well over 100,000 people. That fits with Vienna's relaxed attitude. Its turn-of-the-century decadence allowed Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt to flourish, and the Leopold itself has a world-class collection of those and other artists known for their explicit depiction of the flesh.


vienna Leopold side exhibition BB

But the Austrian capital's acceptance of nudity goes beyond museum exhibits. Thousands of men, women and children skinny dip daily in the Danube along stretches reserved for them during the summer, while racy lingerie ads dot huge billboards across the city all year round and a mass-circulation daily regularly prints photos of half-naked women. Still, there are limits to Viennese tolerance. The Leopold was forced into cover-up mode last year after complaints over promotional posters plastered city-wide that showed three young and athletic men of different races wearing nothing but blue, white and red socks and soccer boots. Swaths of red tape were subsequently placed over their sensitive parts.


Male Nudes 2008 11. Three dimensional artwork by Ilse Haider.

Three-dimensional artwork by Ilse Haider. Thousands of artificial stamina made of silicone form the silhouette of male nudes.


Naked Men

Nude Men -  Ilse Haider (2008-2011) 


Male plaster model

Male plaster model. Cast of Porphyrion from the Eastern Side of the Pergamon Altar, circa 1880


Joseph Desire Court Death of Hippolytus 1828

Joseph-Désiré Court, Death of Hippolytos, 1828



Johann Heinrich Füssli. Hercules Slays the Eagle of Prometheus. Oil on canvas 1781 85

 Hercules Slays the Eagle of Prometheus Oil on canvas

Johann Heinrich Füssli - 1781-85


Johann Heinrich Füssli. From the Saga of the Nibelungs Brunhild Watching Gunther Suspended from the Ceiling

 From the Saga of the Nibelungs: Brunhild Watching Gunther

Suspended from the Ceiling -  Johann Heinrich Füssli Circa 1807-10


Sascha Schneider. Embers Die Glut 1904

 Embers / Die Glut, Sascha Schneider 1904 - Oil on canvas