Content | Navigation |

Memorial Union


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.

Sing Our Rivers Red Exhibition

February 9 – March 3, 2015

Speak Out + Exhibition Opening, Monday, February 9, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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

Aimed at bringing awareness to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and colonial gender based violence in the United States and Canada, the Sing Our Rivers Red initiative was created to raise consciousness, unite ideas and demand action for Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit and LGBTQQIA people who have been murdered or gone missing, tortured, raped, trafficked, and assaulted, and have not had the proper attention or justice.

Since 1980, over 1,181 Native women and girls in Canada have been reported missing or have been murdered. For over 20 years, there have been marches and events each year throughout Canada on Valentine’s Day to bring awareness to his issue. The Sing Our Rivers Red initiative hopes to support the efforts built in Canada in the week leading up to Feb 14th, as well as highlight the need for awareness and action to address colonial gender violence in the United States.

The Sing Our Rivers Red exhibition features a traveling earring exhibit created 1,181 single-sided earrings to symbolize the Indigenous women who were stolen and original art by Diné / Xicana artist Nanibah Chacon. The Speak Out event also includes poetry, spoken word by Tanaya Winder & Hannabah Blue, and speakers including Lissa Yellowbird-Chase who are working on issues involving trafficking, violence, and missing women.

Read more about the Sing Our Rivers Red initiative + events here, or visit




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 3: Women’s Week Event - An Afternoon In the Gallery, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Thursday, March 12: Stephen Frech Poetry Reading

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: Thursday, February 19, 2015 2:17:38 PM