Beggars and Choosers

Beggars and Choosers
Regina Monfort, "Regina and Stanley," Silver Gelatin Print

October 20 - December 12, 2006

The Atkinson Museum at Hampden-Sydney College will host the exhibit, Beggars and Choosers: Motherhood is Not a Class Privilege in AmericaOctober 20 through December 12with a gallery reception featuring Pam Fox on November 9.  The exhibition, which includes about 50 pictures by many of this country's most distinguished documentary photographers, deals with the social issues of being a mother and provides a perspective of motherhood among the poor and "resourceless."  It was created by Rickie Solinger and Kay Obering and produced with the support of the Puffin Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, where it first opened in 2002. 

The show is a companion to the book by the same name written by Solinger.  In a New York Timesbook review, Solinger's premise is described: "In [her] view, the word choice has transformed what ought to be considered a universal right into 'a consumer's privilege' that only affluent women enjoy...."  Solinger writes that the exhibition "asks viewers to rethink what they know about the civil rights of poor mothers, the meaning of self-sufficiency, the relevance of 'living wage' efforts to definitions of legitimate motherhood, the issues raised by foster care, and other satellite issues."

The participating photographers from throughout the country include two MacArthur Fellows, Susan Meiseles and Deborah Willis.  Several others are past contributors to the New York TimesNewsweekNational GeographicDer Spiegel and Smithsonian Magazine.  Most, like Fuji Community Awareness Award-winning photographer Brenda Ann Keneally, share similar interests in provoking cultural and societal awareness.  A complete list of the photographers and more information on the exhibition can be viewed by calling the Atkinson Museum at 434-223-6134.      

The exhibit is free and open to the public during the Museum's regular visiting hours: Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 - 5 PM, or Saturday, 10 AM to 1 PM.  For more information on the exhibition, please contact Angie Way, Director of the Museum, at (434) 223-6134,away@hsc.edu.