Memory is central to the work of Mildred Howard. She often juxtaposes found objects or images to evoke a particular idea. Howard created this print soon after the death of her son. Here, she depicts an empty brassiere above an antique egg box labeled “fragile.” The allusion to breasts and eggs references a woman’s fertility and role as mother. The piece also speaks to the sense of loss and emptiness Howard experienced after the loss of her child. The pastel floral brassiere starkly contrasts the dark, angular egg box. The ghostly presence of the absent mother’s body suggests contradictory feelings towards the promises of motherhood, especially in the aftermath of loss and grief.
Mildred Howard, American, born 1945
Thirty-Eight Double Dee, 1995
Screen print on paper
Gift of the Women's Studies Program WSU