On view: January 14 – June 18, 2023
Location: Special Project Gallery, Floor 2

Mothers are the people in our lives who nurture, support, care for and love us.  We tend to associate them with ideals of the home, cooking, nursing, and other imagery of taking care of children–and this has been reinforced through visual representations of mothers throughout the history of art. However, a biological mother doesn’t always fulfill this role. For many of us, “mother figures” fill that role in our lives and serve as surrogates or in addition to our biological mothers. These figures can be other relatives, such as grandmothers, aunts or sisters. They may also come from the families that we build around ourselves. 

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A mother figure does not have to identify or present as a woman. We may feel nurtured in the same way by anyone who is a member of our community, a role model or a teacher. This figure may not even be a person. We may find nurturing through a deity or belief system.  

Who is a mother figure to you? Are you a mother figure to someone?  This selection of artworks The Rockwell’s permanent collection embraces the many definitions of mother figures, nurturers and families.


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