Magazine article Humanities

Massachusetts Women Honored

Magazine article Humanities

Massachusetts Women Honored

Article excerpt

Do not tell us before we are born even that our province is to cook dinners, darn stockings and sew buttons. We want rights," said Lucy Stone, a nineteenth-century social reformer and public lecturer. Stone and five other women social activists from Massachusetts are honored in a new portrait gallery at the State House in Boston. "Hear Us" features bronze busts of Stone (1818-1893), Dorothea Dix (1802-1887), Sarah Parker Remond (1824-1894), Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin (1842-1894), Mary Kenney O'Sullivan (1864-1943), and Florence Luscomb (1887-1985).

Created by artists Sheila Levrant de Bretteville and Susan Sellers, the sculptures are framed by marble panels etched with the women's writings and speeches. They are set against a backdrop of legislative documents related to their struggles. The six women honored worked for a wide variety of causes, including the abolition of slavery, improved treatment for the mentally ill, women's suffrage, and labor rights.

"'Hear Us' speaks to people without a particular connection to Massachusetts because the causes that these women worked on were causes relevant to everyone: civil rights, labor, peace," says Ellen Rothman, associate director for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and director of the project. …

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