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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

On this day (August 6) in the year 1846, the following news items appeared in the"Pittsburgh Morning Chronicle": ---------------------------------------------------- NUDE DAGUERREOTYPES. -- Boston papers have noticed the case of the arrest of a man for taking and exposing daguerreotypes of naked women, and condemned the practice in the strongest tone of animadversion. This practice is not confined to Boston, but is practised in New York to a great extent by several good daguerreotypists. Whether the mere taking of these likenesses by the artists be contra banos mores, or whether it be a just exercise of art, would make a subject for a very philosophical debate. In Paris, the great studios have periodical lectures, for which rare specimens of actual and living beauty unadorned are procured to elevate the taste, and the first painters of the world have produced their master pieces of etherial beauty by aid of some living Clausins. The impropriety and illegality of taking them for the mere purpose of indiscriminate exposure, is beyond dispute, but there can be no more doubt that the artist has a right to take a picture of this kind for an applicant, than that an ordinary painter or a sculptor is entitled to the same privilege with a similar subject. -- Police Gazette. (A note from Gary: I consulted my handy little book "Dictation Exercises; Containing Many Words of Common Use Whose Orthography is Difficult [1851] for the meaning of the latin phrase *contra banos mores*: "Against good manners") ----------------------------------------------------------------- 08-06-96

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