Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanhouser Advocates Nude in Films -- November 29, 2015

Moving Picture World, 13-November-1915

On 04-December-2015 we will mark the 100th anniversary of the closing of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.  It seemed appropriate to mention the short but lively film career of Audrey Munson, who was called the "Panama-Pacific Girl" because she modeled for an important statue by Alexander S Calder, "The Star Maiden."  There were many copies of the Star Maiden and she posed for other statues around the PPIE. 

In 1915, Edwin Thanhouser starred her in Inspiration, which is supposed to be the first American movie with a nude scene. 

Motography, 06-November-1915
Edwin Thanhouser "promises that in 'Insipiratin'' ... he will give the pro-and-con-ers of motion pictures somwthing to talk about. 

Motography, 13-November-1915
"In the photographs which have been given out for publication she appears a number of times not in various stages of dishabille, but altogether in the nude."

Motography, 20-November-1915
"The posing before the Thanhouser cameras was just a job with her and so considered by all who participated in the picture." 

Audrey Munson appeared in a few more movies and then was not needed again.  Perhaps she was not much of an actress. 

She tried to commit suicide in 1922, was committed to an insane asylum in 1931, and died there in 1996.  Sad story. 


  1. Ms. Munson, who is “a real artist’s model and not a make-believe one, does ‘take ‘em all off’ before the picture is over, but her nude figure, instead of inspiring thoughts of a suggestive or immoral nature, rather has just the opposite effect, and leads the observer to ponder upon the perfection of God’s handiwork.” Ha! I bet. Thanks for posting, this was interesting to read. :)

  2. I'm happy you found it interesting. I couldn't find a photo of one of the Star Maiden statues, but I hope to get one this week.

  3. I have a herald for INSPIRATION at

    Bruce Calvert


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