Happy Mother’s Day from the UMFA: a self-guided tour

Mother’s Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia.

That’s a pretty good Mother’s Day gift, the creation of a holiday in her honor. But we can’t all be Anna Jarvis, so allow me to make a suggestion: why not bring your mother to the UMFA? Not only is there beautiful art filling every gallery, but depictions of mothers are all around.

Here we see a painting of Mrs. Benjamin West (by Mr. Benjamin West) as she cradles their son, Raphael. (Her pre-married name, by the way, was Elizabeth Shewell).

"Portrait of Mrs. Benjamin West and Her Son, Raphael." Benjamin West, American. circa 1770.

“Portrait of Mrs. Benjamin West and Her Son, Raphael.” Benjamin West, American. circa 1770.

This Buddha, the Ushnisavijaya Buddha, is known as “the mother of all Buddhas“:

Ushnisavijaya Buddha

Ushnisavijaya Buddha

Within our European Art Collection you will find many different depictions of this very famous mother:

"Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John and a Goldfinch." Pierfrancesco di Jacopo di Sandro Foschi. circa early 1500s.

“Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John and a Goldfinch.”
Pierfrancesco di Jacopo di Sandro Foschi. circa early 1500s.

Now, this next image is not of a mother, but rather, of a child:

Ganesha's mother (and father)  is positioned right beside him; come and see!

Positioned near Ganesha is his mother (and father). Who are they?

Depending on the Hindu text you adhere to, or its translation, the child Ganesha was either born or found. Either way, of course, his mother is still a mother, and she is displayed beside him in the UMFA.

Do you know her name? Come in to the UMFA and meet the family!

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