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Laughing at Laundry

Airing your dirty laundry can be very liberating—just ask Katherine Wolf Webb ’72. Webb and fellow Wilmington, North Carolina, artist Sandra Ihly decided to tackle the decades-old debate on this traditional role of domesticity with the birth of their joint exhibition, aptly titled Laughing at Laundry. Webb explained to Wilmington’s Encore magazine that the duo is “endeavoring to look at the subject from every possible ‘normal’ angle and perhaps every unthought-of angle, in hopes of eliciting a chuckle or thought” (, 2/23/11). Although the work is comical in nature, it also contains a feminist edge intended to move viewers toward dialogues about women in the home. “Laundry is one of those necessary evils that must be acknowledged,” Webb said, “and one can either laugh or cry in contemplation and completion. We are choosing to laugh.”