MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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A Museum of Motherhood – What’s That? [Click]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: Martha Joy Rose, Director Museum of Motherhood
207.504.3001
Info@MOMmuseum.org
A Museum of Motherhood – What’s That?

St. Petersburg, Florida January 26, 2018 – When it came time for a move, there were several things motivating artist and founder of the Museum of Motherhood, Martha Joy Rose. She is the mother of Bucs football center Ali Marpet and his older brother, Brody Marpet, who is part of a new startup called Gaspar’s Rum. For Rose, family rules. Since both boys relocated to St. Petersburg, Joy as she is called, decided to follow.

Formerly a rock and roller, concert promoter, and academic, her band, Housewives On Prozac toured the country from 1998 – 2008. In 2002, she started the Mamapalooza Festival, which moved to 25 cities promoting moms who rock internationally. Along with her band, the women of Mamapalooza enjoyed appearances on Good Morning America, CNN, and multiple media outlets including the New York Times and the London Times. Thousands attended events in New York, London, Sydney, and Toronto. In 2010, Rose turned her attention to creating the first ever Museum of Motherhood on the upper east side of Manhattan. Relationships with local universities resulted in internships with students interested in studying the art, science, and history of mothers, mothering, and motherhood. M.O.M. as it is known, became a destination point for twenty thousand travelers during the museum’s 29 months on East 84th St., which was in part sponsored by Gymboree.

“I have an ongoing interest in how mothers contribute to the social and economic fabric of American culture as well as the individual struggles women who are mothers experience,” says Rose. The museum is currently located in Rose’s live/work space in a 1920s bungalow across from St. Pete High School.

Rose is speaking at the Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force Annual Conference on Feb. 9th. More info here [CLICK]

The second annual “I Love MOM” Conference takes place on February 16 & 17th on the USF campus in partnership with the Museum and the USF Women’s and Gender Studies Department. International artists and academics present on a variety of topics. Free and open to the public: RSVP info@MOMmuseum.org.

The museum doors will also be open to participants in the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood’s annual Artist Studio Tour. The free two-day event is on Saturday, March 17 10-5 and Sunday, March 18 12-5. Copies of the edited collection, the Music of Motherhood (Demeter Press 2018), and select pieces of art, by Ms. Rose will be for sale and on display.

The museum is located at 538 28th St. in St. Pete. Tours are by appointment only and can be made online or by calling 207.504.3001. Exhibits feature a pregnancy vest (which tour participants can try on), the laminated cereal box dress worn by Rose when touring with Housewives band, and assorted art, antiques, ephemera, and teaching tools. More information is available at MOMmuseum.org

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A Magnificent Move ~ Featuring Mother The Job [CLICK]

As I settle in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, I can’t help but look around in wonder? After living and working in Manhattan (and nearby Hastings On Hudson) for the last 37 years, Florida is a BIG change! I’ve only been here for a few weeks, but two of my children graduated from Eckerd College so I am fairly savvy to the area.

There are a plethora of choices when it comes to picking a lifestyle here. I have met people who live on Beach Drive in the heart of downtown St Petersburg; friends who make their homes within a few hundred yards of the Gulf of Mexico, and some acquaintances who experience the desperation of having no place at all to call home.

I ask myself, what am I doing here? What is my justification for picking this spot? What do I hope to accomplish? While some of my peers are taking a much-needed sabbatical, and many of my colleagues (who are just a few years ahead of me) are thinking about retirement, I have chosen to create a live/work situation across the street from St. Petersburg High School in the Historic Kenwood Arts District of downtown St. Pete. Most recently, Kenwood won first place in the “Physical Revitalization-Single Neighborhood LINK.”  (continue reading below slide show)….

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This decision honors a commitment made after years of great personal adversity. Bed-ridden from SLE and renal complications in my late thirties, into my mid-forties, I had a lot of time to think about my life– and life in general. Although I had been amply blessed and was grateful for much of what I received in terms of the health of my children and financial well-being, I began to realize that I had not been living up to my potential. I received a very clear spiritual message. Illness was the universe’s way of making me tune into a much larger mission.

This new thirst for knowledge and longing for empowerment led me towards a feminist sociological investigation into the arts, history, and science of motherhood and mothering. From the ridiculous to the sublime I screamed, sang, and shouted from the stage with my band Housewives On Prozac. Slowly, a vision for mothers in the visual and performing arts crystallized. (You can read more about this at Mutha Magazine. LINK is HERE).

Now, sixteen years later (and twenty-seven years after my first child), I am bringing the latest incarnation of the Museum of Motherhood to 538 28th St. N. St. Petersburg, Florida 33713. The Museum has popped up in Dobbs Ferry, NY (2003-2005), 401 E. 84th St. NYC (2011-2014), and now: here. The aim of this newest space is to forge community connections while highlighting exhibitions about mothers, fathers, and families. I am so very thrilled that Alexia Nye Jackson has agreed to share her fantastic work titled “Mother The Job,” an arts-based, economic exploration of motherhood in the U.S.A.

Also included are the ProCreate Project Archive and assorted fine art by Anna Rose Bain, Helen Knowles, Vee Malnar, Ronni Komarow, Noa Shay, Norman Gardner, and others. The Museum will open its doors to the public beginning September 2016. Hours will be Thursday & Friday 11-6pm and Saturday 1-4, by appointment only for tours, talks, films, and special activities. Visitors may access our extensive collection of books in the Andrea O’Reilly Library. Call 207.504.3001 (877.711.6667).

We will also launch three new initiatives in addition to Mother Studies courses online, the JourMS (Journal of Mother Studies), and the Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference each May in NYC. Those additions include the “I ❤ M.O.M. Conference” in February; featuring Arts, Academics, and Inspiration, and “A Night At The Museum” initiative on Air BnB, whereby guests will be able to spend a night at the Museum, and by summer 2017 we will offer non-profit residencies for writers, artists, and scholars in the area of mother studies.

As the Museum’s founder and director, I am modeling my commitment to this current exhibition space after Eleanor Morse (among others). Eleanor helped to co-found the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg circa 1982 after her (and her husbands’) personal collection of Dali paintings spawned what is now arguably one of the centerpieces of St. Petersburg’s cultural landscape. Let the good work continue. ~ M. Joy Rose (website)

**Read more about my commitment to the Tampa Bay area: Feminism, Football, and Family [Article LINK]

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

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M.O.M. Conference 2016 & Our Next Move

UPDATE – The CFP for the first annual I ❤ M.O.M. Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. Feb. 10-11th, 2017 is posted online here [LINK] This year’s topic; Mothering from the Margins. We welcome submissions!

M.O.M. Conference 2016 began May 5th with the annual Motherhood Hall of Fame induction ceremony. [Click here for more info]

The 12th Annual M.O.M. Conference commenced on May 6th and 7th at Manhattan College. [More]

During the summer, M.O.M. will make the transition from New York City to St. Petersburg, Florida. This move marks the next step in the journey for those who believe that “together we can do great things.”

The first small museum exhibit will feature Alexia Nye Jackson’s, “Mother The Job.” Studio hours to be announced soon.

Our move will take us to the Historic Arts District of St. Petersburg, Florida. We are looking forward to joining the robust community of museums in St Pete including the Museum of Fine Arts, The Chihuly, The Dali, and The Holocaust Museum.(and many more).

More announcements to come. Stay tuned.

New_MOM

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Mother Studies Summer Accelerated Class: A Student’s Reflections

As posted on the website, we are underway with the seven-week intensive course offered through the museum, “Introduction to Mother Studies.” The course explores key questions related to motherhood, feminism, and the family – issues that the museum seeks to bring awareness to as an institution of thought. We are happy to share a glimpse into week one of the course, which has delved into the rich foundational text, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution by Adrienne Rich, as well as a quick introduction to Sociology and a couple of short films about birth.

In Of Woman Born, Rich gives an in-depth historical, social, and economic context to motherhood.

Patriarchy would seem to require, not only that women shall assume the major burden of pain and self-denial for the furtherance of the species, but that a majority of the species – women – shall remain essentially unquestioning and unenlightened. On this “underemployment” of female consciousness depend the morality and the emotional life of the human family. Like his predecessors of fifty and a hundred and more years ago, [theorist] Hampshire sees society as threatened when women begin to choose the terms of their lives. Patriarchy could not survive without motherhood and heterosexuality in their institutional forms; therefore, they have to be treated as axioms, as “nature” itself, not open to question except where, from time to time, and place to place, “alternative life-styles” for certain individuals are tolerated (Rich 1986).

Below is a response paper to the reading/viewing assignments from week.

“Repossession by women of our bodies will bring far more essential change to human society than the seizing of the means of production by workers” (Rich 1986). Though succinct, Rich has loaded this quote with key points of her thesis in Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. Embedded in it is Rich’s plea for women to reclaim consciousness and agency over their bodies, with special respect given to the institution of motherhood. The reference to Marx is intentional, as theory has pointed at capitalism as the root cause of the domestication of motherhood. However, as has been the primary feminist complaint of the father of socialism, Marx has overwhelmingly failed to account for gender in his observations of the proletariat – and this applies in the family, too. Though perhaps the reason for women’s reign over the domestic sphere, the subversion of women’s bodies occurs much deeper than in economics and cannot seek absolution from economics, as Engels would suggest. In Of Woman Born Rich maps the subjugation of women by the patriarchy and shows how this has extended to motherhood and the family.

If we understand sociology to be “the scientific study of human society – its institutions and people’s social behavior”, then borrowing Rich’s wisdom we will most certainly see patriarchal influences at work within medical institutions. The more egregious manifestations of this, of course, are in birthing practices that treat labor as an ailment in Western cultures, which she explores in the chapter, Alienated Labor (again, a nod to Marx). However, the less insidious assertions of male dominance in the medical field (but perhaps the most devastating) are in medical language itself. Anthropologist Emily Martin has devoted several publications to analyzing the use of masculine language when framing processes within human sexual reproduction. In the short medical video, Fertilization,” we hear phrases describing the life-cycle of the sperm as “a perilous journey against incredible odds,” “strength,” and “swimming harder and faster” amid a backdrop of language that describes the female reproductive system as an “acidic environment” (Nucleus Medical Media 2013). Presumably, Rich would attribute this what she sees as men’s fear of women’s ability to bear new life and of “her apparent power to affect the male genitals.” So of course, in a routine video describing the fertilization of an egg, the women’s system would a hostile, acidic environment designed to hinder the powerful sperm facing incredible odds.

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

Rich says that with this intrinsic fear of women’s bodies came men’s decided action to shackle the divine worship of women’s power. Women’s bodies, once revered and worshipped as an aspect of the hunt – a matter of survival for Neolithic cultures – were later looked at as forces to be controlled. However, where Rich’s argument falls short for me is in its ability to situate the rise of patriarchal dominance across all the diverse cultures she mentions. In one instance, she talks about the devaluing of goddesses in ancient Greece and credits another theorist’s explanation for this:

He theorizes that this fear of maternal woman derived from the sexual politics of fifth-century Greece, where women were ill-educated, were sold into marriage, and had no role except as producers of children, the sexual interest of men was homoerotic, and for intellectual friendships a man sought out hetaeras…or other men. He assumes the mother to have been filled with resentment and envy of her sons, and in frustration, excessively controlling of her male children in their earliest years. Her feelings would have been experienced by her sons as a potentially destructive hostility which is later embodied in mythology and classical drama.

This is one theory of the social climate in ancient Greece that caused the transformation of goddesses’ role in mythology. But what, exactly, brought about the patriarchal awakening across other cultures, in the same time period?

It would seem that if repossessing our bodies would do more to boost women’s power than the overthrow of capitalism, we should know how to dismantle the very patriarchal notions that have caused it subdominance in the first place.

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Online Classes in Mother Studies Have Started [CLICK]

Online classes have started.

The Museum of Motherhood is proud to launch online classes in Mother Studies [LINK]. Organized and taught by Martha Joy Rose, BFA, MA, who is a pioneer in the field, the first session will be offered as part of a seven week summer intensive called “Introduction to Mother Studies.

Mother Studies is a field of interdisciplinary study devoted to the issues, experiences, topics, history, and culture of mothers, mothering, and motherhood.

This bold new experiment aims to increase understanding and expand dialogue within the academic, and para-academic realm of Mother Studies: also known as Motherhood Studies, Mothering Studies, and Maternal Studies.

We look forward to adding additional classes in the future. If you have a course ready to go, and want to bring it to the Museum of Motherhood community, please write us at MOMmuseum@gmail.com

Registration is open currently closed for the 7 week summer accelerated class: (Summer schedule is June 15 – July 27).

Registration for the fall semester begins July 15 here.

All coursework takes place online and can be completed according to your personal schedule.

  • Learn about key issues facing mothers in the United States
  • Gain knowledge about the history of American motherhood
  • Understand theories of race, class, and gender
  • Learn about motherhood and feminism
  • Experience the art of motherhood
  • Understand how American family policies compare to other countries’
  • Empower your life through knowledge
  • Understand your personal position relative to dominant ideologies
  • Be part of an intellectual movement and supportive community

Who Should Take This Class: This course is appropriate for college students, professionals, and para-academics (laypeople) interested in expanding their knowledge base. Materials are presented from an interdisciplinary perspective, and are devoted to the issues, experiences, topics, history, and culture of mothers, mothering, and motherhood. This class can also serve as a launching point for those hoping to write about motherhood and whom may wish to submit to the Journal of Mother Studies (JourMS) for publishing credit.

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Mother Studies Online Classes Launch at M.O.M. [CLICK]

The_Educated_Parent_Header

The Museum of Motherhood is proud to launch online classes in Mother Studies. Organized and taught by Martha Joy Rose, BFA, MA, who is a pioneer in the field, the first session will be offered as part of a seven week summer intensive called “Introduction to Mother Studies.

Mother Studies is a field of interdisciplinary study devoted to the issues, experiences, topics, history, and culture of mothers, mothering, and motherhood.

Registration is open now until June 10 for the 7 week summer intensive: (Summer schedule is June 15 – July 27). All coursework takes place online and can be completed according to your personal schedule.

  • Learn about key issues facing mothers in the United States
  • Gain knowledge about the history of American motherhood
  • Understand theories of race, class, and gender
  • Learn about motherhood and feminism
  • Experience the art of motherhood
  • Understand how American family policies compare to other countries’
  • Empower your life through knowledge
  • Understand your personal position relative to dominant ideologies
  • Be part of an intellectual movement and supportive community

First time students may access a special discount coupon here:

Coupon