Throughout the history of art, mothers and motherhood have been popular subjects for artists, most of whom were men. A new photography exhibition, “Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood,” curated by Susan Bright, was first shown at The Photographers’ Gallery in London and is now on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. “Home Truths” strives to present a more nuanced and modern view of motherhood through images and video made by nine women photographers. Ana Casas Broda, Elina Brotherus, Elinor Carucci, Ann Fessler, Tierney Gearon, Katie Murray, and other artists in the show have explored their roles as both mothers and daughters through long-term projects. Much of the work is autobiographical. The images of kids and mothers are unsentimental and unidealized, yet emotional, capturing not only the devotion, frustration and exhaustion of motherhood, but also exploring issues of female identity. A companion book by the same name incorporates more images and the work of more photographers, as well as essays that discuss the history of depictions of motherhood and the presentation of the mother-child relationship from the perspective of fathers.
“Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood” is currently on view through July 13, 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago.