Mary Loeffler (painting)

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Artist: Mary Loeffler

Year: 2003

Date of Action: May 2013

Region: North America

Location: Arlington Heights, IL

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Painting

Confronting Bodies: Principal Dottie Sievert at Wheeling High School

Description of Artwork: 17-year-old Mary Loeffler painted a life-sized work with a naked left breast.

The Incident: The high school principal deemed the painting disruptive to the learning environment, and ordered the painting be removed from the school lobby. The painting was subsequently re-displayed with a piece of fluorescent paper covering the breast.

Results of Incident: Students were outraged by the school's censorship of their peer's artwork and protested in a number of capacities. The National Coalition Against Censorship got involved in the case, releasing statements saying that the covering of the work made it obscene.

Source:


School tries to patch up student art controversy: Wheeling High School officials' response to a student's revealing self-portrait has sparked a schoolwide controversy about censorship. May 10, 2003 | By Colleen Mastony, Chicago Tribune staff reporter.

High school artist Mary Loeffler wanted her self-portrait to make a statement about freedom and women's bodies. Instead, it prompted a schoolwide discussion about age-appropriate art and censorship. Loeffler, 17, painted a life-size portrait of herself wearing a bright red dress with her left breast exposed. On Wednesday, she hung the painting in the lobby outside the Wheeling High School cafeteria.