After all the allegations of sexual harassment that have been in the news of late, it isn't surprising that the world of photography has been implicated. The New York Times reports that "acclaimed photographer Nicholas Nixon abruptly retired from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design midsemester following allegations of inappropriate behavior".
Nicholas Nixon is known for his series "The Brown Sisters", in which he documented the lives of four sisters through photography. He is alleged to have made inappropriate comments based on gender as part of his teaching methods. As a result, a Title IX independent investigation has been launched by the college. The allegation has been refuted by Nixon saying that his behaviour was never inappropriate.
Last week, the Boston Globe reported on some specific incidents related to them by MassArt students. The investigation continues.
In an industry where the human form is explored and where ideas of decency vary, it is not surprising that these allegations have been made. Undoubtedly, colleges and universities around the world will be looking at course content and issuing guidelines to their teaching staff. In addition, I wouldn't be surprised if photographers started to include detailed clauses on nudity in their model release forms. However, it is only a matter of time before further allegations surface. My only hope is that they are dealt with comprehensively and sensitively for all parties involved.