David Mesple

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Date: 1995

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Painting


Artist: David Mesple

Confronting Bodies: Berthoud District officials, community residents.

Dates of Action: 1995

Location: Berthoud, Colorado

Description of Artwork: Mesple's drawings included nude male and female figures. Eight of the works showed women in various poses, however none revealed any genitalia.

The Incident: Mesple displayed his drawing in the Berthoud Community Center, which is leased by the Berthoud Fire Protection District, at the request of the center director Elnora McCloughan. McCloughan assured Mesple that his drawings were appropriate for the exhibit. Shortly after the exhibit's installation, senior citizens complained to the fire chief that the drawing were inappropriate for children visiting the center. The fire chief viewed the images and ordered them removed.

Results of Incident: The fire protection district board began to develop a policy defining specific uses for district owned buildings.

Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1996