Friday, 23 May 2014 17:30

The Naked Truth

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stlhistory nakedtruth
Facebook won’t remind you of this birthday milestone, so I will. This week, wish a happy 100th birthday to St. Louis’ famous barenaked lady statue, The Naked Truth.

True to St. Louis form, The Naked Truth was a source of prudish controversy when she was unveiled in Compton Hill Reservoir Park on May 27, 1914.

Back in those pre-WWII days, St. Louis and Germany were proud to be joined at the hip. And the famously rich Adolphus Busch was only too happy to bankroll the statue, a salute to St. Louis’ German heritage. The idea was to honor the editors of a local German language newspaper called the St. Louis Westliche Post.

The artist behind The Naked Truth was Wilhem Wandschneider, who quickly made it known that his vision involved a public display of nudity. Wandschneider refused Busch’s request to put some clothes on her, or at least a drape.

Wandschneider did agree to cast her in bronze and not white marble, which it was felt would be too racy because it resembled skin (or at least some people’s skin, especially German American’s).

Every now and then in the past century, someone would put clothing on her, or spray her with graffiti. But now, just in time for her birthday, she’s been restored to her original glory.

 So happy 100th to The Naked Truth…and here’s wishing her a hundred more.

naked truth grafitti