Ida Applebroog


Friday, March 12, 2010

In 1969, Ida Applebroog was a middle-aged mother of four who escaped to the bathroom and sketched parts of her own body. She's recently unearthed the drawings and made them part of a gallery installation and catalog. Kurt talks with her about how she - and her art - have changed over the last forty years.

    Music Playlist
  • Tell It Like It Is
    Artist: Nina Simone
    Album: The Very Best Of Nina Simone, 1967-1972: Sugar In My Bowl
    Label: RCA
    Purchase: Amazon


Ida Applebroog

Comments [5]

Ramon d'Immensio from NJ

As an anatomist I am overwhelmed at, and bored with the fascination with genitalia. This is neither better nor worse though I would prefer Georgia O'Keefe.

Mar. 17 2010 09:24 PM
GR from Seattle

Ditto: Jane's comments

That the correct vocabulary for female genitalia remains taboo, even on NPR, is a discouraging sign of our culture’s continuing discomfort with female sexuality. In our culture, images of perky breasts – objects of universal male fascination – can’t be avoided. But female genitalia – the flaccid, hairy bits “down there” – remain off limits in polite, mainstream society. That Ida Applebroog describes her art as sketches of her “vagina” is perfectly understandable. Woman of her generation were discouraged from exploring their own bodies. As a 40 year old woman, drawing her own genitalia, was itself, a risqué act of self exploration. She consigned the drawings to the basement, supreessing the memory of their creation. Applebroog could not have learned the vocabulary to describe what she was drawing unless she had sought out an anatomy book or stumbled across a feminist work that sought to educate women about their own anatomy. As a visual artist, words are of secondary importance to images. But the much younger Kurt Anderson, a novelist, a wordsmith, has no excuse for engaging in verbal prudery.

Mar. 17 2010 06:04 PM
Jane from San Francisco

I'm sorry but it just drives me crazy when people say "vagina" when they mean "vulva." It's a pervasive problem in the US. We don't teach little girls the proper terminology for their anatomy, and we say "Little boys have penises and little girls have vaginas" and then little girls look at themselves in the mirror and think "Oh look at my vagina."

In fact, the vagina is on the interior of the female body. It's sometimes called the "birth canal."

The exterior genitalia, the outer and inner labia and the clitoris, make up the vulva.

To make a drawing of one's own vagina, one would need a speculum, on top of the usual art supplies and mirror.

Again, I apologize for what seems to many people to be nit-picking. I just feel like if the roles were reversed and the penis were popularly known as the scrotum, there would be a very fast correction made.

Mar. 15 2010 04:32 PM
Melly from Brooklyn NY

I wonder what the song just after the Appleboorg segment was. Thank you.

Mar. 15 2010 02:46 PM
Jeff Schuh from Portland, OR

Love the show, never miss it.

After listening to the Applebroog segment, I went to the website and visited the gallery links. Afterward, I did my usual nightly check of the Astronomy Picture of the Day website.

I couldn't escape the similarity in the imagery.


Mar. 14 2010 02:24 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.