Partisans of the Nude: An Arab Art Genre in an Era of Contest, 1920-1960

Kirsten L. Scheid, Editor

Partisans of the Nude is a survey of genre art of the nude made by artists in areas that were formerly Ottoman but not yet Arab. Though spoken of as taboo and practically absent from Arab art production, the nude genre was important for early twentieth-century artists who sought to define their societies as post-Ottoman and cosmopolitan. Although recognized as foundational to Western art since Ancient Greece, the role the nude played in carving out an Arab art has been ignored by both nationalist histories and Orientalist narratives. By contrast, this book shows that art movements outside the West created their own, connected and commandeering modernity through the genre. It recontextualizes “postwar” and “Arab Spring” art by rooting it in the decolonizing and civic reinvention efforts of artists and activists who fiercely upheld aesthetic development and battled for new forms of political being.


Betti-Sue Hertz, Kirsten L. Scheid, Wendy M. K. Shaw, Avinoam Shalem, Sylvie Robinson, Alessandra Amin, Eveline Fijen, Iona Stewart, Morad Montazami, Saleem Al Bahloly


Shafic Abboud, Hamed Abdalla, Shaker (Azar) Abdulnabi-Shalem, ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-‘Addada, Hussein Youssef Amin, Onnig Avedissian, Simone Baltaxé Martayan, Ali Bellagha, Aly Ben Salem, Huguette Caland, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Georges Daoud Corm, Moustapha Farrouk, Ismail Fattah, Cesar Gemayel, Khalil Gibran, Sophie Halaby, Jamil Hamoudi, Ibrahim Hazimeh, Ibrahim Ismail, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, Louay Kayyali, Munira al-Kazi, Féla Kefi Leroux, Helen Khal, Hatem el-Mekki, Ahmed Morsi, Fateh al-Moudarres, Abdullah al-Muharraqi, Amy Nimr, Omar Onsi, Abdullah Al Qassar, Georges Hanna Sabbagh, Atta Sabri, Mahmoud Said, Khalil Saleeby, Jewad Selim, Juliana Seraphim, Ismail al-Shaikhly, Akram Shukri, Salah Taher, Kamel Telmisany