Up until the 20th century many women spent much of their adult lives with-child. And yet the state of pregnancy is rarely depicted in pre-20th-century art and objects. Pregnancy was notoriously dangerous before the days of modern medicine, and it was a delicate family matter as well. Even as late as 1991, the image of actress Demi Moore, naked and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair, was considered shocking. In a survey that presents objects and depictions of pregnant women, mostly British, over a span of 500 years, the progress of female autonomy and empowerment is scrutinized. —E.C.
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