The project

Mimi's Family: Photography by Matthew Clowney is a collaboration between Matthew Clowney, artist and photography professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, and Margaret Middleton, exhibit designer. The exhibit debuted at the Provincetown Library on Cape Cod for Family Equality Council's Family Week in late July and re-opened at Boston Children's Museum October 17 - December 13. Though Mimi's Family is designed to travel, it is not currently booked for future venues. To inquire about renting the exhibit or to sponsor its travel, please contact Boston Children's Museum.

About the exhibit

The pictures, mostly done reportage style, are moments shared by Erica Tobias and her family, focusing on their relationships with one another. The centerpiece of the work is a complete family portrait done in Matthew’s signature digital-composite technique. Accompanying signage in English and Spanish is written to inspire dialogue between family members.

Book Nook 

Cozy seating and a basket full of child-appropriate fiction and non-fiction books about family diversity and gender expression.

Sharing Station

A table and chairs with paper and color pencils and a display space where visitors can respond to prompt, Tell us about your family. This is an opportunity for visitors to reflect on their own families’ unique qualities and share with others.

Why it's important

Opinion polls show that people who know someone who is gay or lesbian are more likely to support equal rights for all gay and lesbian people. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the same is true for people who know someone who is bisexual or transgender.  

It's estimated that only 9% of Americans know someone who is transgender. We hope that visitors who see this exhibit will feel like they've gotten to know Erica and her family. We also hope that some visitors will recognize themselves or their families in these images. It's so important for people, especially children, to see representations of who Laverne Cox calls "Possibility Models".