Audrey Marie Munson was an American artist's model and film actress. She was the model or inspiration for more than twelve statues in New York City, and many others elsewhere.
Born, June 8, 1891
Mother and daughter moved to Washington Heights in New York City, where the 17-year-old Audrey sought a career as an actress and chorus girl. She appeared in a few Broadway shows. While window-shopping on Fifth Avenue with her mother she was spotted by photographer Felix Benedict Herzog, who asked her to pose for him. Herzog introduced her to his friends in the art world. She posed for a few well-known visual artists, including muralist William de Leftwich Dodge, Isidore Konti, painter Francis Coates Jones, illustrators Harrison Fisher, Archie Gunn, and Charles Dana Gibson, and photographer Arnold Genthe, but she was predominately a sculptors' model. Konti was her first sculptor and her first nude modeling.Today she is considered "America's First Supermodel." In her time, she was variously known as "Miss Manhattan", the "Panama–Pacific Girl", the "Exposition Girl" and "American Venus." She was the model or inspiration for more than twelve statues in New York City, and many others elsewhere. Munson was also the first American actress to appear fully nude in the film, Inspiration (1915), the first of her four silent films.
Died, Feb 20, 1996
On June 8, 1931, Munson's mother petitioned a judge to commit her to a mental asylum. The Oswego County judge ordered Munson be admitted into a psychiatric facility for treatment on her 40th birthday. She remained in the St. Lawrence State Hospital for the Insane in Ogdensburg, New York, where she was treated for depression and schizophrenia for 65 years, until she died at the age of 104.
1 Centre Street, New York, NY, USA
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