I’ve discussed this topic in relation to painting and sculpture, now it’s time to discuss photography. One of the reasons I was so shocked at the controversy over Bill Henson was that I had known for some decades that the naked child has been considered a valid subject for photography ever since the beginning. I was completely baffled that people seemed not to know this. It could only mean they were profoundly ignorant of the history of photography.
One such early pioneer was Alice Boughton. The photo below has been reproduced many times. It is considered a minor classic. Nor is it the only one Boughton did (see below).
It was taken in 1909 – 100 years before the Henson controversy! And it is by no means the earliest example of the naked child as subject.