Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum?, 1989

In 1989, the Guerrilla Girls created one of their most emblematic communicative works: a poster with the question ‘Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?’ over the image of a reclining female nude wearing a gorilla mask. The image refers to the well-known picture by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres entitled La Grande Odalisque, 1814 (Louvre Museum, Paris). The gorilla mask is habitually worn by this group of women artists and feminist activists when appearing in public. Located above the image on a yellow background – a colour particularly associated with the Guerrilla Girls – the poster presents the following data: ‘Less than 5% of artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.’

The poster was originally designed for an advertising campaign commissioned by the Public Art Fund in New York, but was rejected. In view of this, the Guerrilla Girls rented advertising space on public buses in New York until the company cancelled the contract, alleging the image was too inciting.

Technical details

Original title:
Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum?
Registration number:
Guerrilla Girls (Grup d'artistes)
Date created:
Date acquired:
On display
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Graphic work (editions)
Printed ink on paper
Meier Building, Level 1, Room 9
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
© Guerrilla Girls
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

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Gold does not take on any dirt. And gold, just are diamonds, is an exalted material. It possesses such a degree of abstraction that it encounters you –if you use it artistically– on an already exalted level.
James Lee Byars