FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 30th 2021
The History Center in Tompkins County Announces New Exhibit:
Breaking Barriers: Women's Lives & Livelihoods
Ithaca, NY - The History Center in Tompkins County (THC) is excited to announce its new exhibit "Breaking Barriers: Women's Lives & Livelihoods" will open July 2nd 2021. This exhibit has multiple components: a temporary (July 2021-February 2022) physical display of six interactive exhibits at The History Center Exhibit Hall on the Ithaca Commons, selected virtual exhibits available at thehistorycenter.net/virtual-exhibits, and public access to selected interviews from the Women's Voices in Tompkins County: Oral History Collection. The physical and virtual exhibits will open to the public on Friday, July 2nd following two weeks of closure in the museum (June 13th-31st) for the installation of the new displays. Due to COVID-19 we are limiting the number of visitors in the museum and encourage guests to make reservations in advance at thehistorycenter.net/schedule.
"Women continue to break ceilings and have continuously increased representation across communities. While we appreciate the obstacles they have overcome and the achievements women have made, it is important to look back and explore the stories of those women who have been overlooked. This exhibit celebrates the lesser-known stories of these pioneers in hopes of empowering those who visit.” - THC Curator & Design Specialist Cindy Kjellander-Cantu
Breaking Barriers: Women's Lives & Livelihoods explores the lives of women in public and private spheres across the centuries through six interactive exhibits: Haudenosaunee Influence on Women's Rights (Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation), The Overlooked History of Women Working (HistoryForge), Serial Style (Wharton Studio Museum and Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection), Women's Social Clubs and Organizations, and Overcoming Barriers to Vote: Woman Suffrage Movement in Tompkins County. These exhibits will connect visitors with the rich and varied lives of women in Tompkins County through exploring the stories, artifacts, and community legacies they left behind.
The Breaking Barriers exhibit is presented and made possible by Chloe Capital. Despite recent progress, less than 2% of female funders receive venture capital investment. Chloe Capital is investing in the next generation of women entrepreneurs and innovators across the United States. The company's mission to decrease gender and diversity gaps in entrepreneurship and venture capital is a natural fit to celebrate women changemakers in Tompkins County. Find out more about Chloe Capital at www.chloecapital.com.
The History Center in Tompkins County is proud to partner with the following women-owned businesses in Tompkins County to support this exhibit: AdrinA·Dietra, Hound & Mare, Pickleball Mania, The Second Knob.
About The History Center in Tompkins County
The History Center in Tompkins County (THC) is a generation-to-generation education and research center focused on engaging the public with the history of Tompkins County (located in the ancestral and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Nation) and the Finger Lakes region. THC helps people use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future. The History Center is located within the Tompkins Center for History & Culture, a collaborative visitor center and event space on the Ithaca Commons home to twelve independent non-profits and community organizations.
Breaking Barriers: Women's Lives & Livelihood explores the lives of women in public and private spheres across the centuries through six interactive exhibits. These exhibits will connect visitors with the rich and varied lives of women in Tompkins County through exploring the stories, artifacts, and community legacies they left behind. Each exhibit will be located in one of the exhibit towers in The History Center Exhibit Hall on the Ithaca Commons, opening to the public on July 2nd 2021.
The Haudenosaunee Influence on Women's Rights
The women’s rights’ movement did not begin with the Seneca Falls convention in 1848.
Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women have had a political voice in their six nations for 1,000 years while we in the United States recently celebrated 100 years of women voting protected in the Constitution. – Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, written by Sally Roesch Wagner
This exhibit is on loan from the:
Like-Minded Neighbors: Women's Social Clubs and Organizations
Over 100 years ago most Americans thought a woman’s place was in the home. As modern women pushed to break the barriers in politics, work, and professions, women’s social clubs, and organizations became the major channel by which women could develop and use their organizational skills. From forming voluntary organizations to meet their community needs to organizing social reforms locally and across the state to national levels. These interest-driven women established connections with their peers to better enrich the lives and livelihoods of those in their communities.
Defying Convention: The Overlooked History of Women Working
The concept of “Breaking Barriers” has encapsulated many of society’s hopes and distress about what it means to be a woman. There has never been a time where a woman has not worked but the essence of her work has transformed dramatically over the ages. Whether working in factories, agriculture, offices, cottage industries, entertainment or domestic tasks, this work has often been overlooked.
Serial Style: Irene Castle, Patria, and Corticelli Silk
Irene Castle (1893-1969) was already a style icon and famed dancer by the time she arrived in Ithaca to film the silent serial Patria in 1916. Castle used the silver screen as a promotional platform for numerous fashion industry collaborations and would eventually design her own brand of frocks. This installation explores the fashion- and film-related livelihoods Castle created for herself during her time in Ithaca, 1916 - 1923, and is a collaboration between the Wharton Studio Museum and the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection.
HistoryForge: Exploring Stories of Women as Workers
Utilizing the tools of HistoryForge we can explore how gender, class, and race have impacted women’s opportunities. The untold stories of women as workers are as complex, varied, and engaging as the women themselves.
Passage Through Time - 'OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO VOTE: Woman Suffrage Movement in Tompkins County - One-Hundred +1 Years in the Making'
Explore the history of the Women's Suffrage Movement in Tompkins County through a walkable timeline housed in one of our renovated bank vault exhibits.