Home > Soapbox Updates > Fecundity in Art

Dr Vincent Fauveau has been a champion for improving maternal health throughout his international professional career. He has worked in a wide range of countries and organisations including MSF, ICDDRB, Save the Children, and UNFPA. Vincent was one of the pioneering group of academics that initiated maternal health research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 1989. In the course of his work around the world Vincent met with a great many midwives and health professionals in both remote maternity centres and large hospitals. He also had the opportunity to talk with many pregnant women and newly delivered mothers and their families.

Vincent developed a deep understanding of the “universal triple anxiety around childbirth” – the concerns about being able to conceive, to make a healthy beautiful child, and to give birth safely. He took advantage of his travels to browse through markets, visit museums, meet artists and listen to stories all relating to these three concerns around fertility, pregnancy and childbirth.  Over the years he has gathered a unique collection of objects, artistic pictures, written accounts, and photo images all depicting individuals and societies views on this subject which he has entitled ‘Fecundity in Art’.  This collection is a fascinating, international representation of myths, legends, rituals, and magical practices embodied in carvings, amulets, fetishes, talismans, ex-votos and other art forms. 

Vincent has recently published a wonderful book, “Fecondite / Fecundity” which is a marvellous journey through his collection using pictures and stories (in both French and English).  The book encompasses thirty years of research and acquisitions. Dedicated to all midwives of the world, it acts both to share Vincent’s passion for art and to inform the reader about the many faceted ways in which maternity is perceived around the world, and has been perceived throughout history. More information about Vincent’s recent publication and a summary of his collection can be seen on his website feconditedanslart.com