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exhibition bannerThe Sacred Feminine:
Prehistory to Postmodernity

originally on view August 29 - December 24, 2009

Introduction

From antiquity to the present, the world’s cultures have formed very specific attitudes toward the role of women in religion. These attitudes have fluctuated immensely, sometimes elevating women to the status of priestess or goddess, sometimes casting them in the extremes of saint and sinner. Moreover, a vast, visual legacy abounds in “sacred feminine” imagery, documenting these many roles and attitudes. The Sacred Feminine, Prehistory to Postmodernity examined this complex and ambivalent history by showcasing a wide range of objects and media from both western and non-western traditions, from the Neolithic period to the present. Additionally, a number of categories illuminated historically recurrent roles such as the sacred mother, models of knowledge and power, the dangerous feminine, divine queens, sainthood, other devotees and consorts, the cult of the virgin, and postmodern interpretations of women and spirituality.

(Use the links on the right to see this online exhibition.)

The Sacred Feminine Links:

The Sacred Mother
- Introduction
- Objects

The Dangerous Feminine
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

Beyond Human: Female Sainthood
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

Models of Knowledge and Power
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

Devotees and Consorts
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

The Divine Queen
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

The Cult of the Virgin
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

Contemporary Interpretations
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

exhibition illustration

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Museum of Art and Archaeology | College of Arts and Science | University of Missouri
1 Pickard Hall | Columbia, MO 65211-1420 | phone: 573-882-3591 | fax: 573-884-4039 | Email the museum
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