Modern Wife, Modern Life is an exhibition exploring the ‘ideal wife’ turned ‘modern wife’ in 1960s Ireland as seen through the pages of women’s magazines. Organised by Ciara Meehan, it will be held at the National Print Museum of Ireland between August and October 2015.
I am appealing for funding to cover the cost of copyright clearance and the reproduction of images. Although the exhibition does not open until summer 2015, I need to begin the process of securing copyright clearance now because it is a lengthy process and I have to ensure that materials are secured in advance of the exhibition opening. Between now and then, I will send regular updates on how preparations are progressing.
About the Exhibition:
Manuals on how to be a good wife had been widely available in Ireland at the start of the twentieth century, but with the emergence of new technologies, the advice extended to newly married women and housewives began to change in the 1960s. The concept of being an ‘ideal wife’ became closely bound up with being a ‘modern wife’. This is best identified in the pages of women’s glossy magazines, which came to replace the traditional manual as a source for guidance. The message, driven by the advertisers, was clear: a ‘good wife’ was not just beautifully presented, but also used all the latest ‘modern’ devices. Her home – especially the kitchen – was an extension of her appearance and reputation. ‘Modern life’ and ‘modern wife’ became blended into the one ideal.
Drawing on an array of women’s magazines from the 1960s, the exhibition will cover six major themes: print culture; advice for the newly-married wife; beauty and presentation; new technologies in the home; women behind the wheel; and the wife who works.
While women’s magazines are at the centre of Modern Wife, Modern Life, the exhibition will also include objects of relevance from the 1960s. These include a wedding dress, recipe books, knitting patterns, a sewing machine, and a Morphy Richards Hairdryer Ensemble.
Thank you for your support!!