Happy New Year from “The Fertile Goddess”

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The latest exhibition in the Herstory Gallery, The Fertile Goddess, just opened on December 19, 2008. Imagine how delighted Sarah Giovanniello, Research Assistant, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and I were to see this decoration, which Museum art class students kindly made for the Museum’s Holiday Party for staff! We immediately recognized many of the figurines from the exhibition.

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The art instructor for the class, Reynolds, is an artist who has always been interested in goddesses and has even made some of her own goddess figurines. We are planning to visit her studio to see them after Elinor Gadon‘s talk tomorrow.

One fascinating aspect of working on this exhibition for me, as a scholar who studies ancient art, has been exposure to contemporary feminist art inspired by ancient female images. While scholars who study these ancient figurines often question their identification as goddesses, the reclamation of ancient female images and the concept of goddesses by feminist scholars and artists, beginning in the 1960s, is a rich field in itself. It is one that I have greatly enjoyed learning about from my co-curator, Maura Reilly, founding curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and from Sarah.

It is also a pleasure to see young artists making their own versions of these image and we hope to see more in the coming months. For more education related activities, visit the link to the Teacher’s Packet for the exhibition found here.