Content | Navigation |

Memorial Union


The 1970s: Selections from the Permanent Collections

This exhibition features work from the NDSU Permanent Collection made in 1970-79. From unpacking the space age to addressing the war in Vietnam, these selections illuminate the aesthetic, social, and political concerns of the decade. Featured artists include Dave Goerndt, Robert Nelson, and Frank Stella.   

Trophy Wife

February 12 – March 26, 2015

Women’s Week Event – An Afternoon in the Gallery, March 3, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Reception with artist talks and “Pin the Attribute on the Trophy Wife,” March 24, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Seven area artists -- Vicki Kessler, Sue Morrissey, Julie Richardson, Karen Anderson, Julianne Overby, Clare Degerness, and Donna Kjonaas – examine the label “trophy wife” and its varied interpretation. 

Wide hips, thick thighs, pendulous breasts.  The goddess of fertility, an original trophy wife for the species. Dark hair, darker eyes and olive skin. The queen of Egypt, floating on the Nile and playing with snakes emblemized trophy wife for an empire. The legendary Helen of Troy, whose face reputedly launched a thousand ships in pursuit of her? Definitely trophy wife material.

In the nineteenth century, with the rise of wealthy industrial capitalists, trophy wives became the aspirational ideal of womanhood. A woman of leisure, who ran her household with the assistance of many servants, spent her days intricately weaving the threads of mannered, restrained and polite society. The bird in the gilded cage, her social standing constrained her life as tightly as the cords of her corset.

The model of trophy wife continues to serve as a force in the objectification of women. When women are viewed as a means of enhancing another’s social status, they become positional goods. Their humanity and individuality is stripped of nuance, and their own actions and attitudes become shaped by distorted notions of desirability.


Semester Hours:
Tuesday through Saturday,
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and
Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

Summer + Holiday Hours:
Tuesday through Friday,
12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
Or by appointment

Contact the MU Gallery:
(701) 231- 7900
2nd floor of the NDSU Memorial Union




Tuesday, March 24: Trophy Wife Reception, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Thursday, April 9: Clothesline Project Reception, 7:00 pm

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

North Dakota State University
Administration Phone: +1 (701) 231-8241
Campus address: Memorial Union
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5340 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Memorial Union

Last Updated: Monday, March 23, 2015 8:47:58 AM