100% Funded


Target: €2500


€2,505 Raised


65 Funders

Modern Wife, Modern Life Exhibition

By Ciara Meehan


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!!



Exhibition Opening at DLR LexIcon, 3 October

Hi, folks, A quick update to let you know that Modern Wife, Modern Life will move to the LexIcon in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin on 3 October and will be on display to the public until 14 November. As was the case when the exhibition was at the National Print Museum this summer, this has been made possible by your generous contributions. Thank you. All best wishes, Ciara

Date for your Diary

Hello, folks, The Modern Wife, Modern Life exhibition opens on 1 July and runs until 30 August. All funders will shortly receive an invitation from the National Print Museum to attend the launch evening on 1 July (subject to change). If you haven't already forwarded your postal address to me for receipt of your rewards, could you please do so and I can put you on the guest list. Rewards are being posted later this week. All best wishes, Ciara

1960s Women Road Shows

As the opening date (July) for the exhibition draws closer, it's full steam ahead with the final preparations. High resolution images of the magazines have been ordered and panels prepared for printing. A selection of amazing objects -- including a beautiful wedding dress -- have been loaned by members of the Irish public. In the meantime, I've organised a series of road shows around the country for people to learn more about the themes of the exhibition and also to share their memories of the 1960s. Those attending are invited to bring along any objects from the 1960s they have, to have them digitised for inclusion in a "people's archive" of the 1960s. If you're interested in attending, visit the website for more information: http://modernwifemodernlifeexhibition.com/forthcoming-events/ Don't worry if there isn't a road show listed in your area yet -- new details are regularly added, so make sure to check back. All best wishes, Ciara

Dave Fanning Show, 7 February 2015

Good evening, funders! For those of you who are interested, I will be talking about the exhibition on The Dave Fanning Show on RTÉ Radio 2 this Saturday, 7 February, from around 11am.

Women in 1960s Ireland on Moncrieff, Newstalk Radio

I joined Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk Radio yesterday to talk about the exhibition, as well as the representation of the home and women in magazines in the 1960s more generally. Listen back here: http://www.newstalk.ie/player/shows/Moncrieff/8/13870/29th_October_2014_-_Moncrieff_Part_2 [starts 24.11]

Modern Wife, Modern Life in The Evening Herald

Luke Byrne has written a short piece about the exhibition in today's Evening Herald newspaper: http://www.herald.ie/news/historian-looking-for-1960s-wife-technology-30685882.html

Modern Wife, Modern Life on Dublin South FM

I joined Barbara Scully on Dublin South FM's The Hen House to discuss the exhibition and women in twentieth century Ireland in general. You can listen back here: http://www.mixcloud.com/dsfm939/barbarascully-dublinsouthfm-ca_meehan-modwifeexhibit/

Modern Wife, Modern Life on TheJournal.ie

TheJournal.ie ran an article today on the exhibition: 'Women’s magazines sowed the seed of feminism in Ireland'. Read it in full here: http://www.thejournal.ie/exhibition-past-womens-magazine-nostalgia-1714722-Oct2014/?utm_source=twitter_self

funders (65)

There are 58 public funders of this project

There are 7 anonymous funders of this project