8. A Former Student Donated Her Body and You Can View it on the 2nd Floor

There are several skeletons scattered through the Arts Students League building, available for observation and drawing. But a very special one is on the second floor, the skeleton of Mafalda Brasile Hicks, a former student of the League who died in March 2010. Before her death, Hicks expressed a desire to serve as a model for future classes and her family donated her skeleton to the Arts Students League, the first-ever type of bequest to the school.

Hicks herself had a fascinating history – she was born in Newark, New Jersey and was a talented singer since she was a child, performing on live radio. She studied visual art at Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts and served in the Marine Corps during World War II, based in North Carolina where, according to an article in the Arts Students League’s in-house magazine, she applied her talents “drawing maps and developing visual training aids. She also sang with the big band orchestras, entertaining military troops.” She took classes at the Arts Students League after the war.