Making an exhibition of themselves: Nudes check out nudes at Austrian museum

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Visitors to a special after-hours showing of an exhibition based on the theme of “naked men” were encouraged yesterday to shed their clothes

"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life", Oscar Wilde wrote and it's more than likely Wilde himself would have admired the nudes on display at the Leopold Museum on Monday - both on the wall, and in the flesh.

Visitors to a special after-hours showing of an exhibition based on the theme of “naked men” were encouraged yesterday to shed their clothes in a a goose-bump raising instance of life imitating art.

Not only did museum goers leave their coats and bags at the entrance to the museum, but they also checked-in the rest of their clothing.

The occasion Monday at Vienna's Leopold Museum was a special after-hour showing of "Nude Men from 1800 to Today" — an exhibit of 300 paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures focused on the bare male.

The exhibition blurb states that: 'Previous exhibitions on the theme of nudity have mostly been limited to female nudes. With the presentation “naked men” in the autumn of 2012 the Leopold Museum will be showing a long overdue exhibition on the diverse and changing depictions of naked men from 1800 to the present.'

Though, doubtless the art will have captured the imagination of visitors some were distracted by the distinctly chilly temperature in the museum: "I can't say I'm sweating," said office worker Herbert Korvas, as he stood in the atrium with other young men wearing no more than socks and a smile and waiting for the tour to start. Still, he said he was drawn to the idea of naked museum viewing "because it was something different."

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