The Art of the Womb

More women want keepsakes of their pregnancy

Jennifer Loomis

Demi Moore's Vanity Fair cover was a forerunner of belly-proud pictures like this one of Sandra Leong.

Back in the 1800s, pregnant women were depicted in portraits, if at all, with potted plants and animals, as icons of domesticity, says Yale professor Laura Wexler, co-author of Pregnant Pictures. Even in 1991, when Demi Moore posed nude and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair, the issue hit many newsstands wrapped in brown paper. But today, with expectant actresses dominating celebrity news, advances in fertility technologies and more women in the workplace, says Wexler, "reproduction is squarely in the public sphere."

Contemporary moms-to-be are embracing, and memorializing, being in the family way: commissioning artistic photographs of themselves, having their...

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