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Virtual Exhibition

Best Female Friends

In 2018 the Women’s Museum Bonn showed the exhibition about female friends under the emancipatory aspect. In this virtual exhibition we selected some examples of good friends from the exhibition in Bonn and we invited the members of IAWM to present an important pair of female friends from their country or in the context of their museum.

Female friendship often had an essential importance.Together, friends were more likely to find new ways to circumvent prohibitions and male control. They educated each other further by reading conjointly, founded the first women’s associations, and fought together for more rights. Bettina Bab, curator of the exhibition in Bonn, believes without good friendships between women, the first women’s movement would not have existed in this form. The Women’s Museum Bonn would not have survived all problems without the support of good friends. In any case, friendship is vital even in crises such as the current Corona epidemic.

Please click on the images in order to read the text.

The curator from the Women’s Museum Bonn, Bettina Bab, has proposed a virtual exhibition to IAWM. The IAWM Board was happy to accept and seven IAWM members agreed to participate.

List of participating museums:


Overview of the exhibition content:
  1. The Historical Importance of Women’s Best Friends

    Text: Bettina Bab, Frauenmuseum Bonn

  2. Sisters in Spirit

    Elisa von der Recke (1754-1833) und Louise von Anhalt-Dessau (1750-1811)

    Text: Bettina Bab, Frauenmuseum Bonn

  3. The „Muses“ take the first steps towards Cultural Participation

    Ottilie von Goethe (1796-1872) and Adele Schopenhauer (1797-1849)

    Text: Bettina Bab, Frauenmuseum Bonn

  4. The International Association of Women’s Suffrage

    Aletta Jacobs (1854-1929 and Carri Chapman Chat (1859-1947)

    Text: Bettina Bab, Frauenmuseum Bonn

  5. Costa Rican Teachers and Communist Activists

    Carmen Lyra (1887 – 1949) and Luisa González Gutiérrez (1904 – 1999)

    Text: Claudia Mandel Katz, Museo de las Mujeres, Costa Rica

  6. Argentine Women in the Feminist Struggles

    Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938) and Salvadora Medina Onrubia (1894 – 1972)

    Text: Graciela Tejero, Museo de la Mujer, Buenos Aires

  7. The Angels of Pervyce

    Elsie Knocker (1884 -1978) and Mairi Chisholm (1896 -1981)

    Text: Terri Bell-Halliwell, inVISIBLEwomen United Kingdom

  8. Surrealist women in Mexico

    Leonora Carrington (1917- 2011), Remedios Varo (1908 – 1963) and Kati Horna (1912 – 2000)

    Text: María María Acha-Kutscher, HerstoryMuseum, Spain

  9. Initiators and “motor” of the network of women’s museums

    Sigird Prader and Astrid Schönweger

    Text: Sigrid Prader, Women’s Museum Merano

  10. Tell me about it: Friendship is solidarity in action

    Online Storytelling Café in Times of Corona

    Text: Dr.med. Stefanie Schmid-Altringer, www.erzaehlcafe.net

  11. Long live Korean Independence!

    Kim Maria (1892 – 1944) and Hwang Esther (1892 – 1971)

    Text: Kyehyeong Ki, Gender Museum of Korea

  12. Equal exchange as scientists and friends

Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) and Margaret Mead (1901-1978)

Text: Judith Mittelberger, Women’s Museum Merano


Bettina Bab introduces the exhibition: