Irish people’s history exhibition opens next week

A brand new exhibition takes a close look at the representation of Irishwomen through the lens of women’s magazines in 1960s Ireland, a decade of transformation. Curated by Dr Ciara Meehan from the University of Hertfordshire, Modern Wife, Modern Life will open on 1 July at the National Print Museum in Beggars Bush Barracks.

Too often everyday life is overlooked in favour of leading personalities or political development. This exhibition focuses on ‘ordinary’ Irishwomen, and explores the lines of continuity and change in what was expected of them in 1960s Ireland. Magazines such as Woman’s Way, Woman’s Choice and Woman’s View promoted new expectations, though many traditional values persisted, challenging women to negotiate competing demands on minds and bodies in their everyday lives. This decade offers a unique opportunity to examine how different generations of women responded to and located themselves within a changing Ireland.

The exhibition covers seven themes: print culture, advice for the newly married wife, beauty and presentation, the housewife of the year competition, new technologies in the home, women behind the wheel, and wives who work. Visitors will be able to browse features from the magazines, advertisements, and extracts from advice columnists such as Angela Macnamara. There will also be an array of domestic objects, including a sewing machine, recipe books and wedding dress, on display. Many of these are on loan from members of the Irish public.

Dr Ciara Meehan, senior lecturer in history at the University of Hertfordshire, said, ‘the striking advertisements in the magazines offer a visual statement on the expectations of women in the 1960s, while advice columns, letters and oral testimony provide insights into how ordinary women perceived and located themselves in this decade of change’.

The exhibition runs from 1 July to 30 August. For more information visit: http://modernwifemodernlifeexhibition.com/

ENDS

For more information, please contact Dr Ciara Meehan on Irish mobile number: +353(0)863729574, UK number: +44(0)1707285650, Email: c.meehan2@herts.ac.uk  

Notes to Editor

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About the University of Hertfordshire

  • The University is the UK’s leading business-facing university and an exemplar in the sector.  It is innovative and enterprising and challenges individuals and organisations to excel. 

  • The University of Hertfordshire is one of the region’s largest employers with over 2,425 staff and a turnover of over £234 million.

  • With a student community of over 25,100 including more than 2,900 overseas students from 120 different countries, the University has a global network of over 175,000 alumni. 

  • It is also one of the top 100 universities in the world under 50 years old, according to the new Times Higher Education 100 under 50 rankings 2014.

About Dr Ciara Meehan

  • Ciara is currently a lecturer in twentieth century history and associate programme tutor for the Humanities Programme at the University of Hertfordshire.

  • Graduated from the School of History at University College Dublin with a BA in 2003 and a PhD in 2007 and subsequently joined as academic staff.

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• The University of Hertfordshire is the UK’s leading business-facing University and an exemplar in the sector. It is innovative and enterprising and challenges individuals and organisations to excel. • The University of Hertfordshire is one of the region’s largest employers with over 2,425 staff and a turnover of more than £234 million. With a student community of over 25,100 including more than 2,900 international students from over 120 different countries, the University has a global network of over 175,000 alumni. For more information, please visit www.herts.ac.uk • The University of Hertfordshire was awarded the Times Higher Education ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2010’.

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