This display examines the role of the life model for the artist (and vice versa), the evolution and disruption of the life room, and the changing status of life drawing from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

It will examine both conservative and innovative practice (with an emphasis on the latter) with unique perspectives from the archives of three artists’ models.

Themes included in the display

  • the model as metaphor and the challenge to convention
  • the model as person
  • the model as political vehicle
  • the avant garde and the body as vehicle for artistic idea
  • refiguring the model in the inter-war years, the model reconceptualised post-war
  • life drawing since the 1960s.