Voices of American Farm Women Exhibit on Display at The Central Library
August 25, 2009
From September 5 – October 4, 2009, 30 striking photographs that explore a diverse group of women from 15 different states will be on display when the traveling exhibit, Voices of American Farm Women, comes to the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
When Americans visualize life on a farm, oftentimes they focus on the roles men play in agriculture while perpetuating the “farmer’s wife” stereotype and ignoring the contributions of women. Voices of American Farm Women offers a different, and more realistic, perspective when it comes to depicting women’s roles in agriculture. Michigan photographer Cynthia Vagnetti captured women’s stories on film and in words from life on a Kansas wheat farm and a New York dairy to a Mississippi poultry farm and the Wisconsin corn fields of the Oneida Indian Reservation. The exhibit portrays the balance women seek in managing farm work and land conservation along with child rearing and housework.
“Our imagination is shaped by our cultural ideas of what a farmer is,” said Lisa French of Partridge, Kansas, a subject in the exhibit. “When I read my children’s storybooks that have to do with farmers…the farmer is always a man. And the wife, even though she may be gathering the eggs or milking the cow, she is the farmer’s wife.”
The exhibit is organized and toured by Exhibits USA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Missouri Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Admission to the exhibit is free.