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Preview: Museum of Motherhood

New York City families celebrate moms on the Upper East Side.

  • Photograph: Ali Smith

    "Alicia and Ari, Subway"

  • Photograph: Ali Smith

    "Alyson and Ruby, backyard"

  • Museum of Motherhood

  • Sitters Studio at Museum of Motherhood

Almost a decade ago, Joy Rose, the lead singer of Housewives on Prozac, founded Mamapalooza, an organization dedicated to showcasing the musical talents of moms. This month, the mother of four debuts her latest love letter to mamas: the Museum of Motherhood. "We have museums about cars and mustard," Rose says, "but nothing that studies the women who birth and care for the future generations of human beings."

Debuting on Sept 1, the Upper East Side pop-up space, scheduled to remain open through the end of December, will showcase a variety of art-driven exhibits. First up is "Mother: The Job," a multimedia installation by San Francisco--based artist Alexia Nye Jackson that describes the day-to-day life of a mother and draws parallels to what professionals (chauffeurs, short-order cooks) are paid for similar tasks. The museum will also feature the work of local mom artists, including images from photographer Ali Smith's upcoming book, Momma Love; How the Mother Half Lives. Exhibits about famous moms throughout history and facts about how motherhood has changed round out the offerings.

In addition, Rose is hosting daily family workshops and activities. "The museum space is for kids, too," says Rose. "It's nice for them to see motherhood in another way." Children can take a yoga class, make crafts with the folks from Sitters Studio, listen to a concert by Moey's Music Party and practice language skills with Bilingual Birdies. Young visitors can also borrow a baby doll during their stay and pretend to be a parent for the afternoon. It's never too early to set an example for the next generation of caregivers.

The Museum of Motherhood is located at 401 E 84th St at First Ave (877-711-6667, mommuseum.org). $15, children under 16 free. Additional fees apply to some workshops.

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