Posts Tagged ‘avant-garde music in New York City’

The topless cellist arrested by the NYPD

October 28, 2009

Charlotte Moorman, a native Texan, trained for a traditional concert hall career as a cellist.

But after moving to Manhattan in the late 1950s to study at Juilliard and play in the American Symphony Orchestra, she became interested in avant-garde works and mixed media.

CharlottemoormanIn 1963 she founded an avant-garde art festival and began performing around the city with composer Nam June Paik.

Her concerts were pretty cutting edge: She played the cello nude from the waist up.

Today, it’s actually legal for women to go topless. But it was shocking stuff back in the 1960s. She and the fully-clothed Paik were even arrested at a 1967 show in Midtown.

Cops released Paik, but Moorman was tried and found guilty of  indecent exposure. The verdict was later overturned. 

She continued to perform works such as “Cello Sonata No. 1 for Adults Only” and “TV Bra for Living Sculpture,” during which she donned a bra composed of two tiny televisions.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,807 other followers