CARRY ME – a history of bags
March 24 – December 2023
When it first became fashionable at the French court in the late 18th century, the lady’s bag was a laughing stock. It was referred to as ridicule – ridiculous. However, over the next 200 years, the handbag evolved from being ridiculous to something totally ordinary and acceptable. What is more, handbags – from small to large, decorated to practical – became rebellious, status symbols and identity markers.
From one decade to another, the rapid development, new materials, increased purchasing power and industrial production of the 20th century set new standards for the fashionability, look and function of the bag. At the start of the century, there were strictly male v. female norms, but by the turn of the millennium those norms were being challenged. When society changes, so does the bag.
CARRY ME presents the gendered cultural history of the handbag, because even the smallest and most mundane things reveal a lot about some of the biggest trends of our time
Made in collaboration with EXPONA – Museum Exhibition Network
The Word of God through the Voice of Women
April 28 – December 2023
The exhibition The Word of God through the Voice of Women marks the fact that it has been 75 years since the first three female priests were officially ordained in Denmark – thus making both Danish and world history.
When the first three women were officially ordained in Odense Cathedral on 28 April 1948, both Danish history and world history were written. It was an important milestone in the Danish fight for equality, and The Church of Denmark was the first of Northern Europe’s Lutheran churches to ordain women. Prior to this important event, there had been decades of struggle so that women could also become ordained priests.
The exhibition focuses on the challenges there have been in connection with the fight for female priests, and presents a number of new insights into the subject.
The exhibition is curated by associate professor Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen and senior researcher Lone Kølle Martinsen, both from Aarhus University, as well as Cecil Schou Pallesen from Museum KØN.
On 8th April 1970, a group of women marched up Strøget (pedestrian street) in Copenhagen. Wearing false eye lashes, blonde wigs, and balloons in their bras, they demonstrated against the fashion industry and the objectification of the female body.
The action marked the starting point of a new women’s movement – The Red Stocking Movement – which made a great impact on Denmark during the 70s. The red stockings wanted to change the gender roles of society and break with the male-dominated society. They fought for equal pay, equality within the home, free abortion, and the right to decide for themselves what a woman is, can, must, and should.
The small exhibition room THE RED STOCKINGS lies as a red, beating heart in the middle of the museum. A red stocking Wunderkammer filled from floor to ceiling with objects from the museum’s own red stocking collection, portraying the years 1970-1985. You can also see films and photos, listen to music, or study literature in the red stocking library.
What does gender mean in our society? Why do I play with cars and not dolls? What does it mean to be transgender? What is normal? How do I feel about my own body? What is equality? Do we have equality? What does it matter if I’m born as a boy or as a girl? DOES IT MATTER?
In the exhibition Gender Blender, the meaning of gender takes centre stage and the museum invites you to visit a dynamic exhibition platform that catalyses, collects and informs about the ongoing gender debate.
The museum creates a space for – and an enhancement of – the visitors’ own perception of gender. Because gender has a meaning – and Denmark lacks a qualified platform in order for the audience to keep track of the history, the research and the debate about gender – and thereby spark rethinking and reflection.
Sexual education throughout the times
In the exhibition “Sexual education throughout the times”, you can learn about the content and methods of sexual education throughout 200 years. The exhibition is also used for educational purposes. At KØN – Gender Museum Denmark, we enter into dialogue with children and young people about norms, limits, and rights for gender, body, and sexuality.
The old City Hall
The exhibition portrays the women’s movement’s historical development; from Mathilde Fibiger to #MeToo. In the display cases, you will find objects, photos, and texts that will make you wiser on the movement’s perspective and challenges; the Decency Feud, terms of marriage, conservative ideals, and the tightening of a corset.
The Histories of Boys and Girls
About children – for children and adults alike
The exhibition is founded on a number of specific children’s lives within the subjects of family, school, children’s work, and play, as well as the differences between girls and boys.
In the exhibition, you follow the children around among their objects, thus painting a picture of the children’s different lives and conditions. By making historical objects and source material especially available to children, the exhibition presents the important change that has taken place concerning childhood in general and what is expected of girls and boys in particular.
The museum also shows different minor special exhibitions.
All the exhibitions texts are translated into English.