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September 28, 1987 – March 31, 1988

Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Washington, DC

Location: International Gallery, Sublevel 3

This extensive cross-cultural exhibition of some 275 artifacts selected from Smithsonian museums and collections worldwide examines the universality of the birth experience, an event which every culture in the world marks with symbolic images.

Objects include sculpture, medieval illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance anatomical drawings, Near Eastern protective amulets, Egyptian tomb paintings, illuminated lineage charts, ancient fertility statues, embroidered quilts, swaddling and christening clothes, cradles, elaborate birth-rite fans, baby shoes and hats, and horns and rattles used to herald a birth.

Sales desk

Fully illustrated book

Poster of baby shoes