On view through February 17, 2019

Shivangi Ladha, Self Portrait, 2017.
Shivangi Ladha, Self Portrait, 2017. Screenprint with masking tape. Purchase, Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisition Fund, 2018.04

Drawn predominately from the Mead’s permanent collection, this exhibition brings together a variety of artistic styles and materials to examine the ways in which women have been depicted, or have represented themselves, across media, centuries, and the globe. Images from the Mead’s holdings reveal prevalent themes of representation, in which womanhood appears fragmented into slivers of socially constructed roles.

As the exhibition demonstrates through its groupings, womanhood has been adapted through art to reflect a range of social expectations: women as mothers, as objects of beauty and desire, as manual workers, and even as allegorical symbols. The works in the collection represent not just different time periods and cultures, but also an array of motives. These include portraits commissioned to impress and elevate the social position of a woman’s family, and self-reflective images that speak to the sitter’s private sense of identity. With this exhibition we hope to draw critical attention to the way social and cultural constructs have shaped the depiction and self-representation of women through the ages, and to inspire further conversation about how gendered social roles and expectations continue to evolve across the globe.

Related Events

These events take place at the Mead Art Museum. All are FREE and open to the public.

Opening Reception
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 | 5–7 pm
5–5:30 pm | Director’s welcome followed by curatorial remarks by Curator of American Art Vanja Malloy and European Print Specialist and Study Room Manager Mila Hruba
5:30–7 pm | Reception featuring DJ Quills

Gallery Talk with Mila Hruba
Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 | Noon–1 pm
Join  European Print Specialist and Study Room Manager Mila Hruba to learn more about this exhibition.