fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Aletta Jacobs
La Biennale di Venezia

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Aletta Jacobs

1854 – 1929, the Netherlands


  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    FRI - SAT UNTIL 25/09
    11 AM - 8 PM

    TUE - SUN
    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

The many achievements of Aletta Jacobs, the first woman admitted to a Dutch university and for many years the only female doctor in the Netherlands, include her work as a leading international figure in the feminist movement. In addition to heading the Dutch Association for Women’s Suffrage, Jacobs combined her courageous civil rights activism with the solid scientific training that was then considered an exclusively male purview. After opening the country’s first birth control clinic, launching a major family planning campaign, and working for the abolition of prostitution, in 1897 Jacobs published De Vrouw. Haar bouw en haar inwendige organen (The Woman: Her Structure and Her Internal Organs). With folding plates drawn by Jacobs herself, the book describes the female body in detail, including the reproductive system. Its primary goal was to explain how reproductive organs work to the growing number of women who no longer wanted their own sexuality to feel like a mystery. The scientific literature of the late 19th century was beginning to unscramble the discoveries of modern physiology, largely through the study of anatomical models. The papier-mâché replicas of the uterus made by the pioneering company Auzoux, for instance – which Jacobs used in her studies – depict the stages of a pregnancy in a way that is as scientific as it is artistic.

Stefano Mudu


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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte