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Frau am Kreuz

On Saturday, 30th March 2019 the Frauenmuseum Hittisau in Austria is opening the exhibition Woman on the Cross.

This exhibition is fruit of collaboration between member museums of IAWM: The exhibition originally curated by Ulrike Wörner was shown at the Kloster Asbach in Germany. Then it travelled to the Women’s Museum in Meran, Italy where it was exhibited in 2017/18, and now the exhibition will be opened with local adaptions at the Women’s Museum Hittisau in a few days.

For 500 years the woman on the cross was worshiped as a saint and healer. The Crucified has names like Santa Kümmernis, Ontcommer and Wilgefortis or – in Romance countries – Santa Liberata or Santa Eulalia. Since the late Middle Ages, the woman is depicted on the cross in a long robe and crown. And: she has a beard. Throughout the Alpine region there are countless representations of the woman on the cross. Also in Vorarlberg, Austria the figure was widespread.

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Tonight the temporary exhibition “Kümmernis – a re-discovered cult figure” will be opened at the women’s museum Meran, Italy. It tells the story of the legendary Saint Kümmernis from medieval Europe who became the patroness for women in Europe throughout centuries.

The legend tells the story of a young princess who should have been married off to the enemey by her father. In order to escape this destiny she asked god for help and he grew her a beard. Her father was so angry about his wilful daughter and crucified her. Images from a woman with a beard on the cross have fascinated people throughout centuries and is still present today.

Website women’s museum Meran, Italy

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