Date of Award
Esteban M. Gómez, Ph.D.
Femininity, Molly Brown, Museum, New Museology, Performativity, Victorian
Despite making up around half of the global population, women are consistently underrepresented in museums. Where women's experiences are present in exhibitions and programming, they are often misrepresented within an entrenched heteronormative and patriarchal framework. Through this thesis, I show how Denver's Molly Brown House Museum works to upset traditional narratives through their dynamic interpretation of the life of their namesake, Margaret Tobin Brown. Using new museology, feminist anthropology, and performance theory, I analyze data from staff interviews and tour participant observation to explore how the museum deconstructs popular understandings of historical femininity. Through visitor surveys, I measure the extent to which the museum is changing visitors' perceptions of womanhood in the past. By relating Mrs. Brown's experiences to those of modern-day visitors, the museum joins several other notable institutions nationwide in re-shaping the way museums represent women.
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Starck, Emily J., "We Call It Pulling a Thread: Deconstructing Femininity at the Molly Brown House Museum" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1345.
Received from ProQuest
Museum Studies, Women's Studies, American History