September 21 – December 15, 2019
Otto Dix, The Pregnant Woman, 1931, egg-tempera and oil paint on linen, mounted on plywood, Worcester Art Museum, Stoddard Acquisition Fund, 2016.11. ©2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Objective representations of pregnancy and birth in art are rare. With Child: Otto Dix / Carmen Winant explores these uncommon subjects for the first time in the works of German artist Otto Dix (1891-1969), his student Gussy Hippold-Ahnert (1910-2003), and a contemporary American visual artist Carmen Winant (b. 1983). Dix's last nude, Pregnant Woman, painted in 1966, and Hippold-Ahnert's Sitting Pregnant Woman (1932) are being shown outside Europe for the first time in this exhibition. With Child and its programming reflect on women's social, political, and medical conditions in 20th-century Germany and highlight issues that are still relevant today. Responding viscerally to Dix's works, Carmen Winant's newly commissioned immersive multimedia installation, Ha Hoo Ha Hoo… Hoo Ha Ha, Ha Hoo (2019), reveals her view of the experience of pregnancy and birth. “Has there ever been so much unknown?” she wonders.
In addition to the curator's voice, the exhibition features comments by family members, literary and art critics, journalists, health professionals, and philosophers.
This exhibition is part of the Deutschlandjahr USA 2018/19—year of German-American Friendship. This initiative is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institute, and supported by The Federation of German Industries (BDI).
This exhibition is generously supported by Frank F. Herron and Sandra A. Urie, with additional support from Dr. Marshall Katzen and Ms. Bari Boyer, and Dr. and Mrs. Glenn A. Meltzer.
Related exhibition programming is supported by The Amelia and Robert H. Haley Memorial Lecture Fund and The Bernard G. and Louise B. Palitz Fund.
Worcester Art Museum is grateful for the additional support for this exhibit provided by the German Consulate Boston.
Community Art Exhibit
September 15 – December 15, 2019
Pregnancy can be both painful and joyful, embarrassing and celebratory, or all simultaneously. Moreover, one in three women has endured the pain of miscarriage, a pregnancy story that is also about death—stories that, like postpartum depression, often go untold. To engage with these personal narratives, the Museum invites members of the central Massachusetts community to submit drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs about their own experiences—both from the perspective of the observer (male or female) and the actor in the drama, the pregnant woman. Individuals interested in submitting works to the show can contact Elizabeth Buck at ElizabethBuck@worcesterart.org.
Art History Class
An Otto Dix Triptych: Three Paintings of Pregnancy
September 25, October 23, and November 20, 1-2:30pm
Take a step into the unique world of Otto Dix, with a new focus each meeting. We'll consider the influence of Nietzsche's philosophy on the cosmic phase of his work; his realistic/New Objectivity phase; and, finally, the effect of World War II and the Cold War on his work.
Master Series Third Thursday
Thursday, October 17, 6pm
Talk: “Images of Women during the Weimar Republic” and “Images of Maternity in Otto Dix”
Presenters: Ute Tellini, former editor of the Woman's Art Journal and author of Images of Women During the Weimar Republic in Germany, and Michelle Vangen, Ph.D. Art History Professor, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.
Free with Museum admission.
The Trouble with Pregnancy: A Forum on Art and Reproduction
Friday, October 18:
Morning 9-11:45am – Art and Historical Perspectives
Afternoon 1-4:15pm – Women's Health Perspectives
This day-long event will delve into women's social, political, and medical conditions, highlighting issues that are still relevant today. The forum is organized in partnership with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester County Poetry Association, and Worcester State University. Admission is free.