A Local Field Trip: AC-BAW in Mount Vernon

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(a) An envelope directed to Miss Lynda M. Smith of the Peace Corps, with an Abraham Lincoln postage stamp (U.S. Government work).

I became a stamp collector when a friend of my mom introduced me to the hobby in third or fourth grade. I already loved history and the idea of finding stamps that had been used for mail decades ago and had come from far away places was especially exciting for me. The images on the stamps showed me beautiful art (introducing me to the many iterations of the Madonna and Child for instance), visages of the presidents and historical figures, various animals and plants, and of course, the American flag.  I never collected anything particularly valuable. My stamps were almost all postmarked, and the basis of my collection consisted of duplicates from hobby collectors who never would have been in the position to pay for something rare or expensive. But for me, that was all fine. Maybe I had a few fantasies of discovering something amongst the cast-offs, but there were no “inverted Jennys” to be found.

I can’t believe it’s been this long, but a few months ago, I visited an exhibit about African Americans on postage stamps at AC-BAW Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon. I found out about the exhibit from the community newspaper. As a women’s history student, I wanted to see how Black women figured on postage stamps and in the exhibit.

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(b) Shirley Chisholm (Wikimedia Commons)

On postage stamps, I had seen Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, aviator Bessie Coleman, singer Roberta Martin, and the illustration of the musical Porgy and Bess. I used sheets of stamps of jazz artist Sarah Vaughan and writer Maya Angelou for my own correspondence. However, I was surprised by the vast number of stamps in the exhibit and the number that I had never seen before! (Unfortunately, I am not finding any public domain images of the actual stamps to show within this post, so I will link to outside sources and show images of the individuals I mention…but you should go to the exhibit to see them all!)

Stamps depicting presidential cabinet secretary Patricia Roberts Harris, gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and actress Fredi Washington (in writing only) were among those I had never cast my eyes on before. There were several people of which I previously had no knowledge at all.

Imitation_of_Life_(1934)--Fredi_Washington

(c) Fredi Washington from Imitation of Life (Wikimedia Commons)

While I was there, I scribbled the names and years of a number of cool stamps that caught my eye. Ethel Payne, a columnist for the Chicago Defender, and Secretary Harris (named above) figure in my research on historical Black newspapers. I wish I knew about these fascinating women earlier! Congresswoman Barbara Jordan‘s stamp had to be one of my favorites though. There are too few women elected officials who have made it onto the postage stamp (the reasons why are a whole other blog post). Congresswoman Jordan was an awesome person about whom I don’t think enough people know.

The exhibit at AC-BAW was originally supposed to close about a month ago, but when I visited, a board member told me that it was extended. So, you should still be able to go see it! If you need a break from your work or perhaps after you finish the semester, go check it out! If you have any particular favorite stamps, share with us!

 

 Image Credits blog post 4.26.17

*Please note that any links to outside sources are for educational purposes. I tried to avoid pages where the stamps were being sold, but some stamps were less visible online than others.

Planning Any Winter Break Travel?

While you’re on your winter break (if you’re a current student), you might have some free time to travel or just to visit a museum in town. I started making a list of some interesting things to see in the New York area over the break, but I soon wanted to expand it to include other interesting places!

I found quite a few art exhibitions that explore gender and other identit(y)(ies) and/or are created by artists (who happen to be women) that have something interesting to say. I have also included some “permanent” sites that offer perspectives of women’s history.

These sites are all located in the U.S., but I recognize that they may not be close to where you live. If you know of any interesting sites near you, please share them with us in the comments! You might also submit an essay about your experience at a historic site or museum related to gender (email revisionist [at] gm [dot] slc [dot] edu).

I haven’t visited these sites yet, but if you have, give us a shout!

 

The NEW National Museum of African American History & Culture

Where: 1400 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

 

In Conversation: The Photographs of Alice Austen and Christine Osinski

When: Now – December 23, 2016

Where: Alice Austen House

2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY

 

Vinok – An Exhibition by Ola Rondiak

When: Now – December 31, 2016

Where: Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago

2249 W. Superior St., Chicago, IL

 

Maria De Los Angeles Exhibition

When: Now-January 6, 2017

Where: El Museo Del Barrio

1230 5th Avenue, New York, NY

 

NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection

When: Now – January 8, 2017

Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts

1250 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

 

Protests in Print

When: Now-January 18, 2017

Where: NYPL – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

476 5th Avenue, New York, NY

 

Worshiping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting

When: Now – March 26, 2017

Where: Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA

 

A Matter of Fact: Toyin Ojih Odutola – Art Exhibition

When: Now – April 2, 2017

Where: Museum of the African Diaspora

685 Mission St., San Francisco, CA

 

Unconscious Thoughts Animate the World – Art Exhibition

When: Now – May 7, 2017

Where: Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami

1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables, FL

 

Harriet Tubman Home

When: By appointment

Where: 182 South St., Auburn, NY

 

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument

Where: 144 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C.

 

Confluence Project Sites (designed by Maya Lin)

Where: Across Washington and Oregon states

 

Consult the web page of each site for information about cost of admission and open hours and days of the week!

[More] Poems from Jamie Agnello

{For our “City Issue,” Jamie is back with three more of her celebrated poems (inspired by the character of Chuck Bass on “Gossip Girl”). What’s more New York City than Upper West Side-Prep-School inspired poetry? You can find more of these linguistic gems at  http://ilikedyoubetterbefore.tumblr.com/ }

Bad News

Look, anyone who trades in

their trust fund for a fanny pack

flies in the face of all that is

holy to Chuck Bass.

If it cost more than 10 grand,

it earns a proper name.

Everyone out there wants to be us.

We are what you aspire to.

You’re gonna tell me that the life

of a YouTube filmmaker

is better than this?

There is no outside world

that I do not show you.

Stop talking.

Start partying.

I’m Chuck Bass.

The Handmaiden’s Tale

Welcome to the Upper East Side.

Little Jenny Humphrey manages

to get my pants off—

and have me not enjoy it.

Quite the accomplishment.

Well, hello, angel.

Beautiful…and mean?

I’ve got chills.

Care to dance with the poor devil?

You’re getting warmer,

which is an achievement

because you’re already hot.

If I was your man,

I wouldn’t need clues to find you.

I’m Chuck Bass.

Victor/Victrola

Alfonso made me an omelet.

I may have washed it down

with a Bellini or two.

Your position in my esteem

has been replaced by your voicemail.

Victory party. Here. Tomorrow.

I’ll send a car.

A burlesque club:

a respectable place

where people can

let loose.

Pure escape.

You’re ten times hotter

than any of those girls.

Why don’t you get up there?

This is the perfect thing.

I’ve been waiting for this.

What happens at Victrola

stays at Victrola.

I’m Chuck Bass.

{Chuck Bass photo courtesy via Giovanni Rufino/The CW}

{Ed Westwick and Taylor Momsen photo courtesy of tengossip via splashnews}

{Victor/Victrola photo courtesy via The CW}

Police join protesters in Wisconsin; Thousands rally in New York

or, “THIS IS NOT A BUDGET ISSUE, THIS IS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE”

Today, as reported by Jenn Breckenridge at The Understory, police officers joined protesters inside the Wisconsin State Capitol:

From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:

“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”

Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:

“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”

read the full article at The Understory.

Across the country, thousands of New Yorkers rallied with Planned Parenthood to protest the Pence Amendment which cuts all federal funding from the provider.

courtesy NY1

“They give out HIV and STD screenings, they give out cancer screenings, they give out safe sex kits, they do safe sex classes for so many women. And so many women in so many towns like New York don’t have access to anything except Planned Parenthood,” said one demonstrator. “So if you slash that, you’re literally slashing their health and their rights.”

see the NY1 article for more information & a video.

— Kate Wadkins