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Beggars and Choosers: Motherhood is NOT a Class Privilege in America
Anne Hamersky, “Christy and Gabriel,” 1997. From Expectations: Thirty Women Talk About Becoming a Mother, Alameda , CA. Gelatin silver print.

COLLEGEVILLE, PA.- The Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College presents the thought-provoking photography exhibit Beggars and Choosers: Motherhood is NOT a Class Privilege in America, Jan. 14 through March 22, 2008 in the museum’s Main Gallery.

An opening reception with curator Rickie Solinger will take place Sunday, Jan. 27, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. A gallery talk by Solinger is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.

The web site, describes the underlying intent of the exhibit: “For more than a generation, politicians have debated whether women who live in poverty in the United States and have children are irresponsible and selfish, and make bad mothers. What are the implications and consequences for our country when so many of us believe that motherhood is an experience most properly reserved for ‘independent,’ middle-class women? What images and information are we missing when we come to these conclusions? This traveling exhibition of photographs, curated by historian Rickie Solinger, pictures the complexities of being a mother in contemporary America if you’re young or poor; if you are on the streets or disabled; if you are unprotected, in prison or alone.”

“Beggars and Choosers” opened at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in 2002 and the exhibition, with approximately 60 images, has traveled to various United States museums and schools. It is supported by the Open Society Institute, the Puffin Foundation, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and individual donors.

Curator Solinger is an award-winning historian, the author of a number of books including Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race before Roe v. Wade (1992, 2d ed. 2000) and Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States (Sept., 2001). She is the editor of Abortion Wars: A Half-Century of Struggle, 1950-2000 (1998), and, with Gwendolyn Mink, U.S. Welfare Policies and Politics in the 20th Century: A Documentary History (Summer, 2003).

The Berman Museum of Art, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, holds a notable collection of contemporary sculpture, works on paper and folk art and 18th- and 19th-Century American and European paintings among its more than 3,000 works of art. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Ursinus College is a highly selective, independent coeducational liberal arts college located on a scenic, wooded 170-acre campus, 28 miles from Center City Philadelphia. The college is one of only 8 percent of U.S. Colleges to possess a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Its web site is located at

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