The Ivy League nude posture photos were taken in the 1940s through the 1970s of all incoming freshmen at certain Ivy League and Seven Sisters colleges, ostensibly to gauge the rate and severity of rickets, scoliosis, and lordosis in the population. The project was run by William Herbert Sheldon and E.A. Hooton who may have been using the data to support their theory on body types and social hierarchy. What remained of the images were transferred to the Smithsonian and most were destroyed between 1995 and 2001.
Some photographers, such as Akira Gomi, have since used this style of nude photography as an art form.