Reconciling Art and Mothering
Reconciling Art and Mothering contributes a chorus of new voices to the burgeoning body of scholarship on art and the maternal and, for the first time, focuses exclusively on maternal representations and experiences within visual art throughout the world. This innovative essay collection joins the voices of practicing artists with those of art historians, acknowledging the fluidity of those categories. The twenty-five essays of Reconciling Art and Mothering are grouped into two sections, the first written by art historians and the second by artists. Art historians reflect on the work of artists addressing motherhood-including Marguerite Gérard, Chana Orloff, and Renée Cox-from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Contributions by contemporary artist-mothers, such as Gail Rebhan, Denise Ferris, and Myrel Chernick, point to the influence of past generations of artist-mothers, to the inspiration found in the work of maternally minded literary and cultural theorists, and to attempts to broaden definitions of maternity. Working against a hegemonic construction of motherhood, the contributors discuss complex and diverse feminist mothering experiences, from maternal ambivalence to queer mothering to quests for self-fulfillment. The essays address mothering experiences around the globe, with contributors hailing from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
'The 25 feminist texts (mostly devoted to contemporary art) collected in this timely volume embody a broad range of approaches to its titular subject, from art historical investigations of representations of motherhood to interviews with women artists...Readers will find a satisfying breadth of artistic media discussed here, including photography, video art, painting, printmaking, and sculpture; this breadth underscores yet again the complexity and significance of the topic at hand...Recommended.'
'This book is highly recommended for library purchase, as it offers wide appeal and insight into areas of art history not often covered. Although students and faculty researching feminism and women’s issues will be particularly interested, the range of authors and artists represented will appeal to a broad range of scholars, as will the unique perspective gained from a compilation of writing by both art historians and artists.'
'...make[s] a decisive contribution to the emerging field of maternal studies, but also bring[s] the maternal to the surface of feminist thinking on the history and practice of art informed by feminism.'
'when I read Rachel Epp Buller’s Reconciling Art and Mothering, an extraordinary collection of essays about and by women artists, I was struck by its relevance not just to the child-smitten, but to everyone. Now in paperback, and more affordable, the book deserves a wider reach.'
--Studies in the Maternal