As a small not for profit, we don’t always have the resources to do everything at once. Sometimes one endeavor has to take a bit of a back seat so that we can focus on another, and that is the case for Sex in Review this month. We focused on finishing a ten year long project, which is finally done. To do that, we had to cut back on the articles in Sex in Review this month.
The good news is that now that this massive project is finished, we will be expanding Sex in Review, with more content. You can expect new changes and additions.
This project deals with art, specifically nude and erotic art from the past 500 years. There are several parts to each phase of the project. Part 1 is the acquisition of nude and erotic art. Part 2 is the digital restoration, removing yellowing, color shifts, cracked and chipped paint, and any other damage the art has sustained over time.
The original version of William Etty’s The Sirens and Ulysses 1837
The cleaned version
The concept was to make the pictures better, not perfect. An actual digital restoration can take a lot of research and several days and even weeks. For a collection this large, fast techniques and shortcuts had to be developed in order for this to be finished before my nieces and nephews attend the weddings of their grandchildren. As you can see here, though, what we did do to the images makes a big difference.
Part 3 is where I have been putting in a lot of time- the writing of the catalog for the collection, which could only be completed when we had the collection finalized. This is an enormous task when you consider that the current collection consists of 28,000 works of art.
Lagrenée – Louis Jean François (1725-1805) Daphnis and Chloe – Scratch removal
The catalog is in ebook format and will soon be available for purchase on Amazon. It is titled Passion! Artists and Their Nudes by Jeff Booth (that’s me). It includes 750 biographies on the artists, their art, and their models. Whenever possible, the biographies focus on whatever is known about their sex lives, and many artists had quite adventurous and interesting sex lives as it turns out. It lists every single work in the collection. It is an extensive book, 375,000 words, which if printed would be over 1,000 pages.
Lambert Sustris (1510-1560) Woman with a Pitcher – Repairing discoloration
Although finished, and having gone through final edit (which took an entire year for a book this long and complex), it still needs to be converted into an ebook and there are a few other tasks to complete before it goes on sale. If you would like to be notified of when it is available, go to our Passion Notification page. Your email will be used only to send you a notice when the book is available and will not be used for any other purpose.
Otto Pilny (1866-1936) Odalisque – Repairing physical damage
Okay, maybe for one other purpose. If you sign up for the email, and you purchase the book and send us your Amazon receipt, we’ll send a nice bonus to your email address- a free copy of Camera in the Art Studio, a collection of rare photographs of many of the artists in the collection at work on the actual paintings in the collection. There are also many nude photos of the actual models. This unique collection will only be available as a special offer and is not available for purchase.
Hans von Achen (1552-1615) Judith 1600
How expensive will this book be? We have our resident MBA finance person trying to figure that out, but the goal is to keep the price down to something reasonable- an impulse purchase rather than a major investment.
Also coming is access to the actual art itself. This will be released along with the companion online class- Art, Sex, and Censorship. The vast majority of the art is in HD resolution. To make the collection more complete, we also include lower resolution art (500 pixels high). While not up to our standards, it is still interesting and we also make this lower resolution art available for free online at Unacceptable Nudity. There are some 5,000 works of art intended for the Unacceptable Nudity site. While there is quite a bit there now, we still have a lot more to add.
William Etty (1787-1849) Two Standing Nudes – Foxing removal
The art is broken down into three collections:
Masters of Western Nude and Erotic Art
23,672 works of art (19,585 HD and 4,087 SD)
This collection focuses on Western artists for whom nude and erotic art was a significant part of their output. To be included, the artist needed ten or more HD works of art. Most have many more than that, although a very few squeaked in with just ten because they were especially interesting.
Western Nude and Erotic Art Survey
3675 works of art
200 artists – 1615 (1,255 HD and 360 SD)
25 Etchers – 1000 works of art (all HD)
700 individual works by 700 artists (all HD)
This collection focuses on Western artists who did nudes rarely or for whom the majority of their nudes or erotic art has been lost. A total of 925 artists are represented, with 225 biographies of the most significant ones.
Asian Nude and Erotic Art Collection
1,000 works of art
Japanese Artists – 25 artists – 500 works of art
Eastern Artists – 500 works of art (most by unknown artists)
Eastern artists are completely different from Western artists when it come to representations of nudity and sexuality. There are biographies of 25 Japanese artists. Other Eastern artists tended to be anonymous, as is the case with the art from countries including China, India, Mongolia, Persia, and Turkey.
There is a lot that had to be done for a project like this. Just establishing ways to catalog, organize, and eliminate duplicate art was a huge task. This project shows off the finished art, but we have archives of over 500,000 works of art that will eventually become part of one of our galleries. We also translated all of the titles into English.
George Washington Lambert (1873-1930) Chesham Street – Combining two poor quality images to make a third better image
The ten year long project is phase 1 of our even larger Sexual Heritage Preservation Project, which you can learn more about at the link. It is the most ambitious of our many projects, digitally preserving and restoring tens of thousands of books, cultural artifacts and works of art related to human sexuality.