Taboo out in the open
Taboo out in the open
Marriage and health advice
Maxime Hallatu’s focus is on Haarlem gynecologist and physician Theodoor Hendrik van de Velde (1873-1937). Her research constitutes of books, photographs and diagrams from all three archives. Van de Velde made history by dispelling the taboo around talking about sex. His expertise lies in giving sexual advice for married women and health advice for married men. He is well known for his marriage trilogy where the first of books, ‘The Perfect Marriage (1926) had up to 46 editions. The numerous translations and reprints of this books shows how popular this book was.
Taboo, nudity and erotica in Edo Japan
Nabilah Noordin researched a different facet of erotica. Japanese erotic woodblock prints or Ukiyo-e from Center Céramique provide an insight into the Japanese experience of eroticism between the 17th and 20th century. Her focus is mainly on the sub-genre of bijin-ga (beautiful women), called abuna-e (risky images). While some prints are voyeuristic in nature, some can be rather subtle. The Japanese did not experience restrictions and taboo in regards to nudity, and thus was more free in exposing body parts that would be considered taboo in the West.
Sexual morality as educational material
Yasmin Geradts researched 52 meters of unknown educational material from the Beyart Brothers in the Center Céramique archives. Her research focused on books on sexual morality. Their educational materials were based on their own Catholic morals and practices in daily lives. Their materials also include books regarding catechism, etiquette and pedagogy. Catholic books on sexual morality and education typically resonates with the 6th and 9th commandment which are: Thou shalt not commit adultery and Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife. There are other sexual morality that can be found in the archive such as in the Nazi biology books, the ‘reward booklet’ from the 19th century given to good school children that talks about slut shaming*, as well as sultry illustrations from the book 1001 Nights.
There are miles and miles of books in the special collections of the Centre Céramique, RHCL and Maastricht University Library from which we have exclusively selected just for you. We therefore would like to invite you to the MABP Fair 2019. You are also welcome to visit the special collections after the fair.
Get in touch with our specialists!
Would you like to take a look at our collections? We welcome you with open doors. Leave your business card in our stand, or contact our curators directly:
- Center Céramique: Joes Minis T + 31 43 350 4568 / E firstname.lastname@example.org
- Regional Historic Center Limburg: Ruud Straatman T +31 43 328 5500 / E email@example.com
- University Library Maastricht: Odin Essers T +31 43 388 5027 / E firstname.lastname@example.org and Guy Jaegers T +31 43 388 5108 / E email@example.com
Keep Limburg’s heritage alive
Do you treasure our local heritage? Then perhaps you would also like to support their preservation through, for example, a gift or adoption. Or do you want to contribute to the digitization of this material, so that a larger audience will be able to access it? Or maybe you could help us to bring the ‘Minervalia’ back to Maastricht: the first crowdfunding project of the University Library and the Limburg University Fund? Odin Essers will gladly inform you about this.
* Slut shaming:. Slut shaming is an English term that refers to the (massive and frequent (especially online) stamping of a girl or woman as a slut or whore because of her sexual behavior.
Authors: Yasmin Geradts, Maxime Hallatu en Nabilah Noordin, students from FASoS, Maastricht University
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
The ‘Het Roomsch kabinet van oudheden’ (1731); one of Maastricht University Library treasures
The picture shows a statue of the male fertility god Prapus, who was the protector of the cattle, fruit-bearing plants, gardens and the male genitals. With winged phalli underneath. These explicitly referring objects of fertility are provided with eighteenth-century moralistic commentary: (..) “Classical art is special because it is so old and comes from afar. But the makers are pagan rascals who are addressed with Christian rigor”.
Source: Stijfs, J., & Jansen, D. (2005). Limburgs boekjuweel : Cultureel erfgoed in limburgse bibliotheken. Maastricht: Stichting Historische Reeks Maastricht
Last updated: 11/03/19