1st Edition

Museum Representations of Motherhood and the Maternal Mother Stuff

By Rebecca Louise-Clarke Copyright 2024
    121 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Museum Representations of Motherhood and the Maternal is the first book to address the underrepresentation of motherhood in museums.

    Questioning how mothering and maternal experiences should be represented in museums, Louise-Clarke argues that such institutions wield the power to influence what we think about families, mothers and the labour of care. Using the term ‘mothering’ to encompass lived experiences of mothering or caring that are not exclusively tied to sex, gender, or the maternal body, Louise-Clarke explores the ways that experiences of mothering can be represented in museums. The book begins this exploration with Australia’s Museums Victoria (MV), then expands to look at international cases. Offering a blueprint for what Louise-Clarke calls a ‘museology of mothering’, the book imagines what a museum that articulates maternal subjectivities might look and sound like.

    Museum Representations of Motherhood and the Maternal initiates a dialogue between museum studies and maternal studies, making it essential reading for scholars and students working in both disciplines. Questioning conventional museum practices and the values that underpin them, the book will also be of interest to museum and heritage practitioners around the world.

    Introduction; 1. Maternal Voices: Voicing motherhood in museums;2.Maternal Objects: Collecting the stuff of motherhood; 3. Displaying Motherhood: Design Techniques; Conclusion



    Rebecca Louise-Clarke is a visionary curator and writer. Her scholarly and creative work in museum studies, curatorial studies, and creative writing has been published as a book (Australian Teachers of Media, 2012), and in scholarly journals. She has taught in universities for over a decade and has presented her work locally and internationally at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, and Italy. Her PhD was completed at Monash University as part of the Robert Blackwood Partnership Award and the Australian Research Training Program (RTP).