Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The True Story of How Babies are Made

One of my first exhibits as a curator at The Kinsey Institute focused on materials created to educate,  inform, and sometimes entertain their audience while providing information about sexual health and reproduction.  The exhibit, Sex Ed, included an eclectic mix of objects such as public service posters, fetal development models, educations films, marriage manuals, Japanese pillow books, birth control devices, and sex toys.  My favorite items were the children’s books.  These books were written throughout the 20th century to help parents explain the facts of life to their children.  Some books were more informative than others, but none were as straight forward and to the point as Danish author and illustrator Per Holm Knudsen's The True Story of How Babies are Made.  Published in 1973, the book clearly explains conception . . .

to birth. . .

and everything in between.

I love the original book, and was pleased to discovered it has gained a second life as an animated video by graphic designer Eric Benedict.  I am always amused that the couple remain nude the entire 9 months of the pregnancy and only put on clothes because they have to go to the hospital (though the video mentions "some babies are born at home").  They then get into their heart-covered VW Beetle because they are the the coolest couple of 1973.

The True Story of How Babies Are Made from Eric Benedict on Vimeo.

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