Five reasons why you should vote for Spencer Tunick to come to Brighton in 2014

Today is the last day of voting for the Museums at Night Connect 10 campaign. The Royal Pavilion and Museums is competing with the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and the Georges House Gallery in Folkestone to bring ‘nude interventionist’ Spencer Tunick to Brighton.

We really want to bring Spencer to Brighton, and here are five reasons why we think you should vote for us.

1. Brighton was the first town in Britain to open a nudist beach

On 1 April 1980, Brighton Council opened the UK’s first ‘Official Naturist Beach’. The decision was controversial at the time, with one opponent describing it as a ‘flagrant exhibition of mammary glands’. But the beach has remained an established attraction in Brighton, and is the most famous naturist beach in Britain. It is also, uniquely, the only naturist beach that can be reached by a vintage railway: the Volks Electric Railway stops only a few minutes away.

See this BBC article for more on the decision to create the nudist beach.

2. Our museums are full of nudes

The beauty of the nude figure has been celebrated by artists since Classical times, and you can find many examples in our museums. You may have recently spotted some examples from our collections on our timely Tumblr, but you can also find them in our galleries. Here is one example, the naked Venus with Tannhauser, on display in Brighton Museum.

Venus and Tannhauser, oil painting by Lawrence Koe, c1896
Venus and Tannhauser, oil painting by Lawrence Koe, c1896

3. Our curators are knowledgeable about nude warriors

Curator Andy Maxted recently published a post about how ancient Briton was defended by proudly naked warriors. Some of the early Roman invaders were so shocked by this that they wrote home about it.

Wall tile, an almost naked Briton is about to hurl his spear at Roman soldiers.
Wall tile, an almost naked Briton is about to hurl his spear at Roman soldiers.

4. Brighton’s climate is good for the shy (and the relaxed)

If you are feeling nervous about disrobing in public, Brighton’s climate may be the best place to do it. In the early nineteenth century many medical practitioners studied the climate of seaside resorts, and compared their respective benefits. In 1829 a doctor named James Clark wrote an article in the Medical-chirurgical Review and Journal of Practical Medicine in which he compared the merits of Brighton and Hastings. He concluded that the ‘dry, elastic and bracing’ climate of Brighton was:

 to people of nervous or relaxed habits, therefore, it is much more favourable than its sheltered neighbour’

The article is available on Google Books

5. It’s a chance to bring an internationally renowned artist to Brighton 

Ok, this is the serious one. Spencer Tunick is a highly acclaimed artist, whose work has been exhibited across the world. It will be a chance for up to 250 volunteers to take part in the creation of an original work in Brighton & Hove.

All you have to do is vote for the Royal Pavilion and Museums.

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