Audrey Marie Munson (June 8 1891 – February 20, 1996) was actually America’s first supermodel and often referred to as Miss Manhattan or the American Venus. You may not realize that you have seen her many, many times before- but not the way you think. She was the model for some very famous statues. Audrey was also the first American to star in a movie while fully nude. She starred in 4 silent films.

There is a really fabulous article about her HERE that includes the tales of her exposure to Gypsies as a child, and the really unfortunate fortune given to her by one of those gypsies. She remembered that fortune throughout her life and considered it a curse.

All that glitters is not gold. In her own words:

What becomes of the artists’ models? I am wondering if many of my readers have not stood before a masterpiece of lovely sculpture or a remarkable painting of a young girl, her very abandonment of draperies accentuating rather than diminishing her modesty and purity, and asked themselves the question, “Where is she now, this model who was so beautiful?

By 1920 things went very south and Audrey was unable to support herself. She attempted suicide in 1922, and in 1931 her mother had her committed to an asylum, where Audrey remained until she passed away at the age of 104.

She was buried in New Haven, New York without a gravestone (one was added much later.)

Shown below- some of the statues she modeled for (which happen to be some of my all-time favorites.)