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Art and Mothering

  • By: Julianna Thibodeaux
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In addition to its aesthetic concerns, art is often a reflection of current social issues across and specific to gender, racial, and socioeconomic lines. Mothering as subject matter and the concerns of mother-artists are no exception, although historically, motherhood has been predominantly either sentimentalized or marginalized as a subject in art. Critics historically have paid less attention to women artists; women artists who are also mothers, and who deal with the topic of mothering in their art, were even more marginalized until the last few decades.

Since the feminist art movement, begun in the late 1960s and flourishing in the 1970s as an outgrowth of the second wave of feminism, mothering has become more acceptable as a subject in art, and mothers themselves have been less ...

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