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). The exhibition is generously supported by Frank F. Herron and Sandra A. Urie, with additional support from Dr. Marshall Katzen and Ms. Bari Boyer, Christopher and Susan Durham, and Dr. and Mrs. Glenn A. Meltzer. The Museum also thanks the following friends for their donations: Dr. Claire Cummings; Mary D. Lagerwey and Rich Voorman; Dr. N. Alan Harris and Dr. Diane Lebel; Phyllis Pollack and Peter Metz; Carol L. Seager; and Ute Tellini. 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.
From the Curator
Community Art Exhibition: Reflections on Pregnancy and Birth
September 15 – December 15, 2019
Higgins Education Wing, second floor
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 invited 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.
With Child Tour and Conversation
Saturday, September 21, 11am and 1pm
Leander Dix, grandson of Otto Dix, and Carmen Winant, artist, lead a tour of the exhibition With Child: Otto Dix/ Carmen Winant and then discuss this thought-provoking exhibition with audience members. Tour participation is limited; first come first served.
Master Series Third Thursday
Thursday, October 17, 6pm
Speakers: 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.
Art Talks: Images of Women during the Weimar Republic and Images of Maternity in Otto Dix
Free with Museum admission.
Master Series is sponsored by:
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.
Download the Forum schedule (PDF 180KB)
To register for either the morning or afternoon sessions please contact Aileen Novick at AileenNovick@worcesterart.org or call 508.793.4341.
The Art Newspaper
Mum's the word: the exhibitions rethinking motherhood
By Margaret Carrigan, January 21, 2020
Arts This Week: 'With Child: Otto Dix/Carmen Winant'
By WGBH News, December 6, 2019
The Boston Globe
An unflinching look at maternity and childbirth
By Cate McQuaid, November 29, 2019
Celebrated at Birth: Worcester Exhibition Explores the Art of Motherhood
By Beth Neville, October 28, 2019
The New York Times
Shows to See This Fall
By Ted Loos, October 27, 2019
Through Found Photos, Carmen Winant Shows Uncensored Reality of Pregnancy and Childbirth
By Scott Indrisek, October 9, 2019
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
‘With Child: Otto Dix/Carmen Winant’ at WAM a rare presentation of childbirth in art
By Nancy Sheehan, September 28, 2019
The New York Times
Don't Miss These Art Shows and Events This Fall
By Will Heinrich, September 12, 2019
The Boston Globe
New England's 15 best museums and gallery shows for fall
By Murray Whyte, September 6, 2019
5 Boston-area Art Exhibits Every Feminist Should See
By Wendy Taucher, September 3, 2019