Tales of Motherhood by Jennie Klein / ARTPULSE

“Feminist artists have not always been interested in motherhood. Helen Million Ruby, one of the founding members of the activist group Mother Art and a student at the Feminist Studio Workshop in the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, was told by Judy Chicago that she couldn’t be a mother and an artist-the two were mutually exclusive. Chicago’s attitude towards mothers and art making was prevalent during the 1970s and 1980s; most women artists who were also mothers actively hid that fact, afraid that it would harm their careers.

It would be an over-exaggeration to claim that the topic of motherhood is suddenly a trendy issue in the contemporary art world. However, the renewed interest in feminist art coupled with the mainstream institutionalization of feminist art and artists has resulted in an increased visibility and acknowledgement of feminist art that engages with the topics of maternity and motherhood. Several books on motherhood and art have been published in the past five years.