Women, War, and Industry Exhibition Debuts at The San Diego Museum of Art
Exploring women and war in contemporary society, and featuring many
never-before-displayed works from the Permanent Collection
SAN DIEGO – From October 19, 2013, through February 18, 2014, The San Diego Museum of Art will present Women, War, and Industry, an exhibition examining the ways women have been represented in relation to war and industry in modern and contemporary art. Highlighting many never-before-displayed works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, this exhibition includes World War I and II era posters, and recent acquisitions in photography.
During the 20th century, the advent of war and increased industrialization led to major changes in the lives of women: their roles in families, the way in which they dressed, and the manner in which they were perceived in the public sphere. Bringing together work created in diverse media, this exhibition examines the iconic, historical, and fictional ways in which women have been represented in relation to the complicated and related factors of war and industry.
Works displayed in the exhibition explore how images of women have been used to convey certain ideas about war and industry, and how women artists responded to these concepts in their work. War and industry intersected, perhaps most famously, during World War II, as women went to work in factories to compensate for the depletion of the work force created by men being called abroad for military duty.
Predominantly featuring works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, Women, War, and Industry places specific attention on World War I and World War II era posters, and photographs by significant artists such as: Margaret Bourke-White, Esther Bubley, Alfred Eisenstaedt, San Diego-based photographer Florence Kemmler, Gjon Mili, and Berenice Abbott.
Along with male artists who have poignantly, and in some cases, provocatively portrayed female subjects in relation to war and industry, the exhibition emphasizes work created by women. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the works in Women, War, and Industry were created by women.
“This exhibition offers a tremendous opportunity for the Museum to highlight its Permanent Collection,” says Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director. “By focusing on and celebrating the Museum’s collection, we are able to tell a dynamic story of local, regional, and national history, and that of the Museum itself.”
The exhibition includes paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, and mixed media works. To complement the Museum’s holdings, a number of modern and contemporary works by Miyoshi Barosh, Doris Bittar, Nava Lubelski, Catherine Opie, Iana Quesnell, An-My Lê, Pae White, and Frohawk Two Feathers have been selected. New works by Frohawk Two Feathers and Michelle Dizón will also be displayed.
Women, War, and Industry has contemporary resonance given the current involvement of the U.S. Military abroad, and due to the thousands of military service men and women, veterans, and peace advocates living in San Diego. The exhibition also relates to the history of the Museum itself. During World War II, many of the Museum’s objects were moved to another location when the Museum served as a naval hospital.
The exhibition is curated by Amy Galpin, Ph.D., Associate Curator, Art of the Americas, at The San Diego Museum of Art.
Lectures and films will accompany the exhibition:
For more details on related events, visit the Museum calendar.
About The San Diego Museum of Art
Providing a rich and diverse cultural experience, The San Diego Museum of Art houses the world’s finest art in America’s Finest City. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned collections include Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th and 20th century American paintings and sculptures. The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.