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Nude Diana

Nude Diana

August Saint-Gaudens’ bronze sculpture of Diana the Huntress
Diana the Huntress
Diana the Huntress
Stanford White’s great-granddaughter, Wonderly White
Newspaper headline concerning the murderer of Stanford White
Diana under our film team's lights in the museum's sculpture court
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Did this statue spark a celebrity murder?

At the center of the Met's sculpture court stands a half-sized model of an 18 foot bronze of Diana the Huntress created in 1892 to sit atop Madison Square Garden.  For many years she was the tallest object in Manhattan. 

From the moment of her ascension Diana caused quite a stir. For straight-laced citizens her nudity was scandalous. For others in a society where proper ladies still covered their ankles, she became an object of prurient interest (especially for binocular toting men in Central Park).

Before long she caused more than a stir. Her nudity was a factor in the murder of one of America's most prominent citizens.

How did Diana's nudity figure in a homicide?

The secret is revealed in the premiere broadcast of Museum Secrets: Inside the Met.

It Girl

Many early 20th Century New Yorkers believed the statue of Diana was modeled on America's most famous beauty: Evelyn Nesbit. We invite you to appraise Evelyn's appeal for yourself in our Interactive Feature: It Girl.

Fact No Fiction

Was Evelyn really the model for the statue of Diana? And how did a nude statue come to be the highest pinnacle in Manhattan? The history of Eveyln and Diana is blurred by myth and urban legend. We invite you to watch curator Paula Uruburu set the record straight in our Web Exclusive Video: Fact No Fiction.

 

Believe It Or Not

Eveyln appeared in several silent movies. Amazon's Askville provides a list but... alas... the films themselves seem to be unavailable.

Still available (to rent or own) is the 1955 Hollywood adaptation of Eveyln's life story called The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing starring a young Joan Collins.

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