The American Woman in 100 Years of Ephemera 

Oct 1, 2020 - Jan 15, 2021
Guest Curator: Marnie Melzer
Related Exhibitions: Political Pandemonium: Presidential Pop Culture from 2008 Through 2020; Paul Peter Piech: Activist Prints from the 1970s and ‘80s; Why Shouldn’t We Talk About These Things at the Table?: A Community Based Conversation with South Florida Artists



This Exhibition looks at 100 years of FAU Special Collections ephemera, postcards, and advertisements, to understand how women are drawn. The images collected reflect the spirit of the times, but as we look critically, the cartooning of the female gender is unchanged. The title derives from the character of Jessica Rabbit, from the 1988 live-action animated film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The curvedly drawn figure is one of those archetypal images like the femme fatale, the teenage sexpot, and the crotchety feminist, all of which outlive centennials. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic recast women in the role of domestic goddess, and fine-tuned our scrutiny of the visual feminine.


Images (clockwise from top left): Jay Vollmar Look Silly Today. Feel Good Tomorrow. Protect Yourself From Covid-19, 2020 poster, Graphic Business Solutions, erase.covid.com, Courtesy of FAU Libraries Special Collections; Carolyn Diehl The Moving Target, J. Walter Thompson Company, 1974 Reproduced with kind permission, Rena Bartos Papers, Rubenstein Library, Duke University; Beals, Des Moines, Iowa “I Used to Worry About Styles / This Will Suit Me From Now On”,postcard, circa 1940-1945, Courtesy of FAU Libraries Special Collections.