I am delighted to announce that the National Print Museum of Ireland has agreed to host my exhibition, Modern Wife, Modern Life. It will run between August and October 2015.
Modern Wife, Modern Life explores the ‘ideal wife’ turned ‘modern wife’ in 1960s Ireland as seen through the pages of women’s magazines. Manuals on how to be a good wife had been widely available in Ireland at the start of the twentieth century, but with the emergence of new technologies, the advice extended to newly married women and housewives began to change in the 1960s. The concept of being an ‘ideal wife’ became closely bound up with being a ‘modern wife’. This is best identified in the pages of women’s glossy magazines, which came to replace the traditional manual as a source for guidance. The message, driven by the advertisers, was clear: a ‘good wife’ was not just beautifully presented, but also used all the latest ‘modern’ devices. Her home – especially the kitchen – was an extension of her appearance and reputation. ‘Modern life’ and ‘modern wife’ became blended into the one ideal.
In addition to the magazines, a number of objects — including recipe books, photographs, a wedding dress — will also be on display.