The Naked Man

  • Joseph Hirsch, The Naked Man, 1959-1962, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1966.84.3

Luce Center Label

Joseph Hirsch's painting captures a rite of passage familiar to young American men during the years of the cold war. The Naked Man shows a tall, youthful figure in a dark hallway, carrying a pile of clothing, dog tags, and boots that signal he has just been drafted into military service. His pale bare skin against the dark background emphasizes the vulnerability of a young man who has been stripped of his identity. At his feet, arrows emerge from the darkness, marking the path that he and other draftees are to follow as they are transformed from civilians to soldiers.

Title
The Naked Man
Artist
Date
1959-1962
On View
Dimensions
74 1/4 x 51 1/4 in. (188.6 x 130.1 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – furniture – chair
  • Object – written matter – book
  • Object – other – fabric
  • Figure male – full length
  • Figure male – nude
Object Number
1966.84.3
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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