The Bearded Lady Project
July 2 – September 25, 2022
The Bearded Lady Project, a brainchild of paleobotanist Ellen Currano and filmmaker Lexi Jamieson Marsh, is aimed at challenging gender biases in the sciences, specifically paleontology. The project’s origins date back to a night when Ellen spoke to Lexi about her own experiences, and how she was not taken seriously by her colleagues. Half seriously, Ellen wondered whether her colleagues would appreciate her opinion if she had the right amount of facial hair. When Ellen woke up the next morning she saw a message from Lexi, “Let’s do this. Let’s get beards.”
So began the Bearded Lady Project.
In 2014, Ellen and Lexi teamed up with fine arts photographer Kelsey Vance and director of photography Draper White, and began travelling around the world to photograph, film and interview paleoscientists in the field and in their labs, highlight the work they do, and tell the stories of how they got to where they are.
To date the project consists of two parts. First, the feature film celebrating the unsung achievements of women in paleontology and revealing the obstacles they faced. Second, a photography exhibit that pokes a bit of fun at the burly-bearded male stereotype that has dominated the professional landscape of field-going scientists for far too long.
Beginning July 9 we will be showing feature presentations of The Bearded Lady Project documentary (52 minutes) in the Sam Noble Museum auditorium.
Funding to support the exhibition of The Bearded Lady Project at the Sam Noble Museum was provided by the Beth West Memorial Fund.