July 18, 2014 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Long-Lost Photos Show What Hasn't Changed About Motherhood In 50 Years. Is a collection of 50 year old photos from around the world by Ken Heyman. Taken originally for the pulitzer-nominated book Family (co-authored with Margaret Mead), they were left sitting in a storage container for decades.
posted by blue_beetle (16 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

I need to favorite this 17 times. I am sitting on my couch with 2 toddlers and a book of Mary Cassatt paintings, also mostly of mothers and children, and it is delightful.
posted by bq at 11:53 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]

Brilliant photography, without being cloyingly sentimental.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:17 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]

SPOILER ALERT: They're all women! Same as it ever was.
posted by grubi at 12:20 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]

Beautiful link, thank for you sharing...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 12:34 PM on July 18

aaaaw the "eat my foot ma!" bathtub picture. Ha ha ha that's familiar.
posted by dabitch at 12:35 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]

What Hasn't Changed About Motherhood In 50 Years

I'm a little confused about what this is supposed to mean. Are there really people who think mothers didn't hug their children in the sixties, or is it just meaningless Upworthyism?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:48 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]

Another 50 years, 500 years, 5000 years, and I can say with pretty much 100% confidence that we will still not invent anything better than smooshing your face into a squirming baby fresh out of the bath.
posted by 256 at 12:49 PM on July 18 [9 favorites]

It would be interesting to know where these are taken. this looks like Sweden, judging by the greens & socks, and this could be as well, or somewhere else in the north of Europe, with the red house & white door frame behind it. The mom and baby (foot) in bath strikes me as American, because of the soap holder, tile and shower door - and mom's earrings. Clearly these have been taken all over the world, where is this northeast-African looking scene? And where is this 1950s "post no bills" city?
posted by dabitch at 1:16 PM on July 18

The love on the faces of these mothers is gorgeous. It was striking, scrolling down the pictures, and seeing again and again that, wherever the kids were looking, the mothers were looking at their children.
posted by rue72 at 3:05 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]

Some of these folks look like grandmas, not moms.

These are nice pictures but some more context would have made it more interesting. As it is, I don't quite "get" it.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:32 PM on July 18

I think the context is "hey, look what I found in a box!"
posted by blue_beetle at 3:39 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]

Some mums look like grandmas, small_ruminant, and don't we hate being reminded of it! Always best to go the tactful route, I think.

These pictures made me think of the last line of one of my favourite poems, "Not Dying" by Mark Strand - 'I am the same boy my mother used to kiss.'

Beautiful photos, thank you for sharing.
posted by h00py at 5:36 PM on July 18 [5 favorites]

dabitch: "It would be interesting to know where these are taken. "

The mashable & babycenter links from the HuffPo article note some of the photos' locations. So "where is this northeast-African looking scene" is Somalia, 1982; for "this looks like Sweden", there's another picture of them that's marked USA.
posted by bluesapphires at 6:19 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]

I like how so many of these are about grooming the little ones' hair. Also, I'm old enough to be my son's grandmother.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:37 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]

Some of these folks look like grandmas, not moms.

50 years ago many many mums had fewer energy saving household machines, less access to birth control and health care, and there was a lot less emphasis on looking like you were 15 years younger than your actual age.

My husband and I were talking recently about his mom doing diapers with a hand wringer on the ranch when he was eight years old, and how he hated to haul water for wash day. He's sixty five.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:10 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

That's it. I'm inventing Motherhood 2.0.
posted by mazola at 11:47 PM on July 19

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