Bea Arthur: Nude Painting Banned From Facebook

    May 16, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Bea Arthur rose to fame as a strong, take-no-crap woman on sitcoms like “Maude” and “The Golden Girls”, and though her deep voice and severe, no-nonsense haircut were usually regarded as masculine traits, some men found her attitude sexy. One man in particular found it sexy enough to want to paint her in the buff, and he did.

Artist John Currin painted the Golden Girl in a nude pose in 1991, although he stressed that he worked from a clothed photo of the actress. The painting has now gone for $1.9 million at auction, but Facebook apparently doesn’t want the photo posted on their site. According to The Daily Beast, they weren’t allowed to upload it due to the exposed breasts in the painting, although Facebook has said before that art doesn’t apply to that rule.

Facebook has caught some backlash before due to their strict “no breast” policy after taking down photos of mothers breastfeeding and showing off pregnant body art. Site reps eventually apologized to The Daily Beast, saying, “Our policy prohibits photos of actual nude people, not paintings or sculptures. Unfortunately, this image was erroneously removed under the same clause we use to prevent more graphic images from propagating on the site.”

Christie’s Auction House sold the piece to an anonymous bidder, but the price was expected to go much higher than it did. When Currin’s show opened in the early ’90s it was lambasted by art critics, one of whom said that the pieces were “acrid fantasy portraits of menopausal women — images suspended, in his words, ‘between the object of desire and the object of loathing.'”

Arthur was aware of the painting before her death in 2009 and said that perhaps Currin was simply drawn to strong women.

“Maybe [Currin] was attracted to the feminist movement of the 1970s. Because of ‘Maude,’ I was the Joan of Arc of feminism. He certainly couldn’t have done anything with Marlo Thomas of ‘That Girl.'”

Check out the painting below, courtesy of Christie’s. Could be NSFW depending on your view of nude art.


  • jim

    i saw my 85 year old grandma naked once and this brings back band memories

    • http://yahoo dretired

      Oh, what band ??

      • bea_groupie

        Hopefully not Nine Inch Nails!

        • echo

          Nine Inch Nails is a great band!

        • jon

          lmao, i can not beleive you went there.. esp. when he was talkin about his grandmother , i hope he wasnt singing CLOSER in his head at the time….hehehe

        • jon

          @bea_groupie…. that is freakin hillllllarious… and not everyone will get that reference…lmao

      • Speechless

        haha I think he might have meant bad memories, not band lol

        • jimlu

          I have some band mmammaries also

    • Aaron Ververs

      What, you and the rest of the band got on her?

    • hi5

      this one time…in band camp

  • Robin Bednarczyk

    Facebook actually has a no breast policy? Then how in the world do all these little whores and tricks go on their showing THEIR WHOLE BODIES naked? Facebook just needs to be shut down! All its doing is getting people stalked, and busts up marriages DUE TO THE very graphic photos that young women obviously with NO MORALS OR SHAME are putting out there! They THINK they look cute, but ahem, to me they only look cheap and easy!

    • Deborah

      Gee Robin, why should Facebook be shut down? Facebook can do nothing in and of itself!!! Facebook doesn’t break up marriages, the people in the marriages do. As far as stalking goes, the person who posts their information is the person you should. Not a social networking site!! If people don’t want their information out there, DON’T post it!! Shutting down something simply because you don’t like or agree with it is not only Unconstitutional, but a very dangerous premise!!!!

      • jayson k

        Facebook is part of the decay of American society. It facilitates divorces, cheating, vanity and not to mention it is killing intimacy between human beings as far as how they communicate. You can say its not Facebook its the user. That crap isn’t working with guns don’t kill people, people kill people because really it… guns don’t kill people, people who own guns and feel like shooting people kill people. Same goes for Facebook. I have never seen the obsession with Facebook. All it is isa tool to self promote. You post pics and give up your personal intimate details in order to gain “friends”. I especially vomit over the disgustingly self indulged women who take pics of themselves making pouty lips with their yuppy crack (iPhones). I see Facebook as a tool for people with no real sense of themselves to try and gain some sort of twisted nonreality because they suck at being socially compitent educated human beings who can communicate and gain acceptance by having real one on one interaction with someone real.

        • Speechless

          It sure is convenient to blame Facebook for divorce and declining moral values. Before Facebook the divorce rate was almost 50% and it’s actually a little bit LOWER now. (look it up. it’s true.) If someone uses Facebook and all the other social sites to find someone else, then their marriage is in trouble, and it’s NOT the fault of Facebook or all the millions of chat rooms,etc, on the internet. Not to even MENTION all the dating sites! You don’t like it? Don’t do it.

        • Speechless

          Hey here’s an idea: STOP USING FACEBOOK! and, you don’t like those photos? Stop looking at those! I never see photos like that because I don’t go LOOKING for them. Or report the photos to Facebook. It’s not THEIR fault that people are posting those things! and GROW UP!

          • jayson k

            Actually I don’t use Facebook. I go and communicate with my friends and family via actual human interaction or by phone or by Skype. And for you to say that you don’t see photos like that seems pretty convenient to your half cocked argument. Facebook is trash and only used for vanity and self promotion. Sure there the very few who actually use it to keep in touch with family but for the most part it is used for vanity sake. Argue all you want it is true.

      • jimlu

        robin………go read your Bible and get off the ‘puter NOW!

    • ws_elvis

      Robin, I think you’re a little confused on what Facebook does. I use it to stay in touch with friends and relatives, some of which I haven’t seen in years and some that live hundreds or even thousands of miles away. I’ve never seen a nude girl on Facebook and I use it often. I guess you see what you look for. Don’t blame Facebook for a cheating spouse.

      • Jillinois

        I agree we_elvis…

        I’m disabled. I can’t get away from home for much more than MD appointments and trips to the pharmacy and grocery store once a month. Facebook has connected me to the world again.

        For those who CHOOSE to use it for negative reasons, that’s on them. Facebook doesn’t have the power to make people behave in any way… the responsibility lies with the one who is irresponsible and has no integrity. NOT the site itself.

        For me, it’s been a huge help in not feeling so isolated, and reconnecting with friends and family.

        • Hammond M102

          Isn’t that like saying those who promote bad, tasteless,
          sexualized, offensive TV have no responsibility to society or to God?

          I think anyone involved with promoting indecency should be held accountable here on earth, and ultimately will be in the afterlife.

          • Davi

            So, using your logic, God will judge everybody that ever worked for a phone company, the US Mail, UPS, or Fed Ex because these methods of communication have aided people in murder, rape, child pornography, theft, etc? After all – they provided a way that people could put communicate words and items of malicious intent.

            In fact, I think you’re using the internet right now. The internet is what enables Facebook, so obviously, by your logic, God will judge you in the afterlife because you are enabling sin.

      • jayson k

        Well unfortunately you are either using the same cliche response I always get when I talk about how decrepid Facebook is or you are being real and are in a huge minority.

    • http://yahoo Matti

      The thing that we forget is that women have breasts and that we are not living in the early 1900s..please get a life and try to
      think about World Hunger and other things that are more deserving
      of our attention .

    • Speechless

      People need to report those things to Facebook. Facebook CANNOT track each and every photo posted on there.. it would be an impossible task day to day. So, you see something like that? report it.. they will remove it. Lots of us like Facebook due to the fact that our family and friends are scattered, and this is the only way to talk to everybody on a daily basis. So, don’t bad mouth it just ‘cuz you don’t like it. Shut down yours and shut your mouth. Oh, and grow up.

    • jimlu

      go back to church/reading your Bible.Leave Facebook alone.

  • http://yahoo.com James Reyes

    Who’d be desparate to see Bea Arthur naked? Anyone who has a sexual appetite for much older women over 50.

  • http://aww.sharesolavei.com/go_p2.html Alan

    Thank you, Facebook! One of your smarter moves!

    • Mary

      YOU are a stinkenstein!

  • RZ

    How do you know this is how this woman looked. Each woman’s body is like a signature, different colors and textures. How would the male community feel is we took photoshop and pasted their man parts on whoever or whatever. Then gave it national press!

    • http://covent-garden.co.uk Jackie Mackay

      The answer to your question is of course that he does NOT know really and the ART is placing his imagination where he did. It fetched a fair few dollars as it is undoubtedly a beautiful painting. Photoshopping is art of a sort leading to much vulgar humour – can be extremely funny instantaneously, until you notice the means and click on your way when you are done being moved.

  • Kelsey Kay

    Ridiculous! FB has far too much time on their hands and their actions have overtones of the recent “IRS Targeting” certain political groups!

  • danys187

    Oh get over it ppl. It is just a piece of art. & every female on fb is not a whore or a slut either. & fb does not break up marriages either, ppl who cheat on their mates do that all by themselves. People need to take more responsibility for their own actions & stop blaming others. Chill out ppl. & to the older generation, get over yourselves..when you was younger you did some pretty unmoral things yourself. Enjoy life ppl. Stop bitching so much about stupid stuff, like art.

    • Jillinois

      Not everyone does immoral stuff when they’re younger- that said, you’re right- people need to be responsible for their own choices and behavior.

    • Speechless

      Not only that, but even without Facebook, people would cheat. It just wouldn’t be as obvious. So, which is worse? If their spouse catches them cheating, isn’t that better than someone whose spouse cheats year after year and never gets caught until they get AIDS?

  • http://yahoo Gayle Brown

    If the picture of Ms. Arthur was with clothes on, this isn’t an accurate picture of her.

    • jimlu

      BeaArthur has no sex appeal for me!She is far from “fetching”.Her breasts are not her own.(on that picture,I hold that view.She is vain.at least that is what I gathered when she was on various talk shows,plus she has only average acting abilities.

  • koala

    While I won’t be a fan of the “art” piece – if she was ok with it who are we to disparage this person?

    • jimlu

      I choose to take the ‘higher ‘ ground and disparage this old woman on the grounds of being an OLD UGLY WOMAN trying to get attnention from the opposite sex ………unless she is lesbian in which case it is understandable….we love lesbians!

  • ClancyBoy

    Now I suppose Betty White will want one done of her.

    • http://yahoo Sand

      Hope so! I love them all. The human body was good enough for god. Who are you to make it dirty?

    • Hammond M102

      Please no, but you’re probably right. I have zero respect for her.

    • http://yahoo Peter

      Betty White DID pose topless for real. As a Beverly Hills High student in the late 40’s Ms. White posed for some art photo shots.Several years ago a tabloid found,and published these pix They were tasteful, and quite beautiful. She had nothing to be “ashamed” of.Rue McClanahan,”The Golden Girls”,Blance: also had a career on Broadway where she perfomed in the nude, more than once. There are also nude art shots of Tony “Felix Unger Randall,and Jack La Lane out there. They had nothing to be “ashamed” of either. If you know what I mean.

  • Ray Workman

    The late, Bea Arthur was not the kind of lady to pose in the buff, even when she was an actor just starting out. I imagine she would be livid now, as I am sure here two sons are for thie invasion of privacy. Bea was a class act. Don’t tarnish her memory!

    • bobbi

      So you not read the article? Ms. Arthur knew about the painting and was not upset or offended by it. You’re right, she was a class act and I’ll bet she passed reading comprehension as well. Too bad you didn’t.

  • http://yahoo.com linjaynes

    As this woman did not pose for this painting, its basically the painters imagination & his idea of what he can only fantasize what she looked like. Therefore in my opinion its not worth the fuss!

  • John

    I don’t like any nudity displayed.

    • http://yahoo Sand

      You must have a body like a pig. If you are so ashamed of what God gave you, you must be ashamed of God.

      • Hammond M102

        How dare you attack this person with an ugly comment like that.

        He has a right to his thoughts. Keep you’re filth to yourself.


          Bite me!

      • Speechless

        Some of the most beautiful actors/actresses out there won’t pose nude. It’s simply not necessary. and, why is public nudity against the law while it’s completely legal to pose nude for movies and photos in magazines? I hate those things because they are touched up and therefore not even real. So why bother?

    • Creighton

      Good thing they didn’t paint one of her vag. You would have had a heart attack if he made one with her snatch and dripping, pouty lips.

      • Aaron Ververs

        ‘Dripping’? Why would they be dripping?

        • Jillinois

          Think about it Aaron… :/

          • jimlu

            I am not aaron…….but the shear thought is excuciating mentally painful

    • krista

      Interesting comment. I would be interested in why you don’t lke nudity displayed. Just curious…

      • jimlu

        not a raggity old pruneface!…………indeed it would not be a pretty site……dripping………..?

    • http://Facebook Gary Branan

      Before they wrapped him in swaddling clothes, he was naked/nude/in the buff. Get a life!


      You sir are an Idiot for not liking Nudity. Nudity on Film Sells more than not having and you are a Jesus Christ Freak Lover!

  • http://yahoo.com THE BUILDER

    even at my ripe age of ??? the stupi things that are done by people in positions of rule never cease to amaze me . TO THEM AND THEIR ILK, BOTH SEXES, “GO CHANGE YOUR KOTEX, ITS LEAKING ON YOUR SO CALLED BRAINS. CIAO

  • Jen

    I would much rather see this picture of Bea than watch the video of the woman getting her head cut off in Mexico, which I found on Facebook.

  • michyel

    This woman is an example of what cigarette smoking does to them.She is ugly.If it does not disfigure them,it will kill them & that pretty much goes for every stupid woman that chooses to smoke.I will never marry a woman that smokes period.

    • bobbi

      I happen to think smoking is disgusting and I’m a ex-smoker but it is really necessary to call a woman stupid because she smokes? I would call her stupid for marrying you! You forgot mention stupid men that smoke. What a charmer you are!

    • Speechless

      Men who smoke are just as stupid. Even MORE so because they are more susceptible to lung cancer. Smoking is bad but I’m guessing you have some bad habits, too, as NONE of us is perfect. Look in the mirror and remove the plank from your eye before removing the sliver in someone else’s. GROW THE H**LL up.

  • http://Yahoo Patty Doyle

    I think this whole affair is despicable. I wish I could get my name off that FACEBOOK. I don’t like FACEBOOK policies at all.

    • Speechless

      So, remove it then. OR, if that doesn’t work, then post something that’s against their policies and get kicked off.

  • roland

    Loved Bea Arthur all my life…my fave comedienne , so commandeering , elegant, imposing and all,,,stood out from the crowd and had an authority on screen like the very few. Was so saddened when she died at 87 few yrs back. I welcome any piece of work depicting her. She was Unique and Talented!! LOve ya Bea

  • http://yahoo Sand

    You went girl. Love it!

  • Skwyrley

    This painting was done tastefully. There are many great works of art that have nudity. Does the statue of David come to mind for anybody? This is one of the many reasons I go to facebook rarely. It used to be fun in the beginning. Like most things that become too commercial (like the Jazz Fest in my home town, The Bif Easy) it’s so not “what it used to be”!!!

    • Speechless

      haha the Bif Easy? :)

    • jimlu

      I do not like Da Vinci s work as a sculptor. I prefer Le meiu

  • Walter

    I’ll be she would have killed to have nipples so delicious. I love this painting, it makes me hard.

    • Speechless


  • Mr Sardonicus

    I wonder if he painted one with her snatch?

  • Tasha

    Anyone remember the movie Airheads? One of their demands to release the hostages were “naked pictures of Bea Arthur” That was the first thing I thought of when I saw this article haha!

  • John

    Was this painting done before Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraiser, and Steve Buscemi said they wanted a picture of Bea Arthur naked in the movie “Airheads.”

  • Richard

    I would bet that even she would love this! She was awesome.

  • Aaron Ververs

    There’s something about Beatrices: Bea Arthur, Aunt Bea –

    Them old-time gals really ‘sported the sandbags’.

  • DavidDukes

    Bea Arthur’s naked body IS WHERE HARD-ONS GO TO DIE.

    • krista

      Because of the intense satisfaction it would give a hard on such as yours……Because once you have had Bea with that hard on you know none could kill it better. Thus your hard on retires…easily gratefully and restfully between the likes of her. Goodbye David Dukes hard on LOL :)

  • RBrown

    You know what the girls say when they get older. “One, Two, Three, Four, over the shoulder and hit the floor !”

  • krista

    I like the painting. Its both funny and not offensive. Its funny because of the no nonsense Bea from golden girls.
    It isn’t offensive because its not pornographic, sexual to some but not pornographic.
    Most women I see nude or even in clothes are pornographically displayed and I don’t like it, its not about sex its something more. Like my preference to true crime versus stylized violence.

  • Deb

    It’s just breasts…….everyone has them. Let’s move onto something important!

  • James Gonzales

    I use Facebook just for entertain for my friends on comments ,speak on my views but NO FAMILY ISSUES OR MONEY ISSUES so I love facebook findingold friends from past and high school …

  • http://Facebook Gary Branan

    What is the big effin deal? For the sake of God Almighty, why is this country so hung up about breasts, penises, & vaginas? Is there someone out there who will be surprised we all have one or the other? This country needs a huge enema; except that happens in our rectum and we for God sake don’t need to mention that we all have one of those!

    • krista

      My name is Krista and I have a ummmm… a you know a RECTUM.

      • Hammond M102

        I’m happy for you. Do I want to see your rectum? No.
        Are you wanting to show it off? I hope not.

      • jimlu

        you are a naughty little girl,krista!

    • Hammond M102

      Don’t use our Lord’s name in vain. That is a mortal sin.

      • Speechless

        So is judging others. There was nothing in that comment that was taking the Lord’s name in vain. The person wasn’t swearing.

  • Hammond M102

    Please, keep it banned.

  • BobK

    Does this mean I can’t post my pictures from Paris, since they have naked roman statuary. Had it been a photo I could have understood the objection. Painting and statues should not be censored.

  • George

    If I saw the painting first, I would not have guessed it was Maude.

  • Grumpy Bear

    “God will get you for that, Walter.”

  • mary

    Yay facebook….I think it is a tasteless painting. Not only is she not a glamorous actress, she has not got a good body for a nude painting. I don’t think anybody over 30 does except Dolly Parton. She has had enough surgery to look like she does.

    • Speechless

      haha I think you’ll be singing a different tune when you get older. Having surgery to look younger is not beautiful, but the human body in it’s natural state is beautiful. Haven’t you ever heard the song: “Everybody’s beautiful in their own way”? It’s true, everybody is. This painting is not in my taste, but who would sensor the artist’s right to post it? I’m sure she knew about the painting when she sat for it, and I really don’t believe she would care much one way or the other, else she wouldn’t have sat for it in the first place.

      • http://covent-garden.co.uk Jackie Mackay

        He said he did it from a clothed photo – I guess she sat for a photo.

  • Ben Dover

    Gravity is like death. You cannot defeat it. It is the Great Democrat.

  • Jeff

    She’s not FAT enough in the painting.


    She Looks Fine enough to Feed the Poor and Starving. If I was an Infant or a Toddler, I would say Aunt Bea is bringing me LUNCH! :)

  • hueyd3

    Bea Arthur was a very, very handsome, statuesque woman. Of course she really became famous in her middle to late years, however, I remember her as Maude and Maude was no dog. I also saw her in some earlier stuff and though she was playing kind of plain parts she wasn’t bad looking either. I never saw my grandmother dressed up in anything fancy, just mainly house dresses or something she would wear to church or a funeral. She was big on hats. Not to much makeup, just a little powder with a touch or rouge and lipstick. She was one of these women who dressed plain but you would call a pretty woman. My mother kind of took after her and was more glamorous because she was in love with the movies and wanted to be Maureen O’Hara. She even looked like her. Green eyes with long auburn hair that curled on the ends. I remember the sweet smells coming off these two women, my mom and grandmother. Smelled like the comsmetic counter at the Rexall drug store in downtown Tallahassee or the perfume counter at Woolworth’s. Thanks to Bea Arthur, those memories just came back to me.

  • Speechless


  • Speechless

    All those famous women who’ve used Botox or gotten too much plastic surgery look like aliens, and they’re not even pretty anymore, when before they were gorgeous. Bea Arthur aged gracefully, therefore she was FAR more beautiful than all those aliens running around now. I can’t even bear to look at them anymore!

  • http://yahoo.com mazin

    The ultimate nude portrait would be of the incredibly beautiful and sexy Maggie.Maggie Thatcher,that is,at age eighty seven.
    This painting wil make UK conservatives drool as well as those conservatives in the US.Rush will be the first to buy it and hang it on his bedroom wall facing his bed.Purchased at
    $9,ooo,ooo.Boy would that painting make him happy like a teenage boy drooling at a picture of Farah Fawcet(God rest her soul) wearing that hot swimsuit.

    • Speechless

      Um why didn’t you say God Rest Her Soul about Ms. Thatcher?

  • jch

    She was a ‘take no crap” woman because she was so full of crap herself. Takes one to know one.

  • http://yahoo Peter

    I think this coming so soon after Angelina Jolie’s dramatic, and powerful choice is telling us a lot about modern views concerning modern womanhood, femininity and I hate to say it, America’s obsession with breasts. I feel lucky to have grown-up with Ms. Arthur from her first roles as Edith’s “Cousin” Maude, on “All in the Family”, through “Maude” and the “Golden Girls”. To me, and many like me, she was a sorta “AntiBarbieDoll”, Tall, tough,smart, funny, a gal who could probably use her fists if she had too, but used that wonderful witty mouth,instead.Someone you’d REALLY want as a mother, or neighbor.I say put that topless image on a U.S. Postage stamp.And please, no jokes about “licking it.”

  • James

    Somewhere, Deadpool is a happy, happy man.

    • dammit jim

      i was actually hoping this could be some kind of publicity stunt to get all the deadpool fans all riled up. kinda letting us know that their going to make the movie. watch the movies gonna come out and deadpools gonna be sittin in a chair. wearing a suit and tie sippin some cognac admiring the portrait. thats how the movie is gonna open.

    • http://covent-garden.co.uk Jackie Mackay

      How can a lifeless congloration contain a ‘happy, happy man’? A name says much. I wanted a different name so I filled in the passport and driving licence forms and sent them off. They were returned with my new name on them. I was happier using my new name. Could his happiness be affected at all by the words dead and pool? What do you think?

  • therealguyfaux

    There were rumors that Beatrice Arthur was, well, shall we say, of the “little bit of both, but not enough of either” genitalia persuasion, the same rumors as the Duchess of Windsor and an actress whose father was named Bernie Schwartz. That she is now a “pin-up gal” for older-woman sexuality would probably have delighted her, as it would tend to put those rumors to rest.

  • http://yippie.com M

    We want naked pictures of Bea Arthur and a football helmet filled with cottage cheese.

  • http://Yahoo Timmy Terd

    I thought that Bea Arthur was dead.

  • Loki

    With New York and California among states that protect topfree equality, some of which have criminal or civil penalties for obstructing a right to openly breast feed as well, it’s a reasonable position that Facebook is promoting legal rights violations, and child abuse.

    Kids need basic life skills to witness lawful public actions of others in stride, even if some parents are emotionally stunted bigots. It’s absurd to think that speech reflecting legally protected choices for all ages, on the street outside Facebook’s own offices, or inside them, justifies censorship by a public forum larger than most of the world’s largest cities combined.

    • http://covent-garden.co.uk Jackie Mackay

      You said
      “reasonable position that Facebook is promoting legal rights violations, and child abuse.”

      Can’t agree with that man (or woman but who cares nowadays?) I shall not go along with promoting child abuse as many others in high positions do.

      Jackie Mackay