900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT 06604. Phone: 203-332-5052.
Rickie Solinger, curator of Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit and an award-winning author, historian and curator, will offer a talk in the Burt Chernow Galleries on Wednesday, October 10 at 1:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. Solinger will discuss how the artists included in this exhibit "reexamine women's history by positioning tools used in a domestic setting as the "fulcrum for a contemporary work of art." She says, "These old tools are at the center of women's work: washboard, a dressmaker's dummy, graters, doilies, an advice book, cooking pans, a basket, a garden hoe, dress patterns, a rolling pin, buckets, darning eggs, a work glove, a needle threader, rug beaters, ironing boards, mason jars and a telephone." Solinger points out, "Many of these old tools facilitated....repetitive labor and evoke the various cultural histories of women's unpaid, often diminished and disrespected status within the household and society. But in the 21st century, at a moment when 'old tools' have become aestheticized and expensive, we can look again and see their costly beauty." Rickie Solinger is an independent scholar, curator and author. She received the Prelinger Award from The Coordinating Council of Women in History for her book entitled Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Abortion, Adoption and Welfare in the United States. Solinger is the author of Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe V. Wade (Routledge, 1992) which won the first Lerner-Scott Award given by the Organization of American Historians. She is also the author of The Abortionist: A Woman Against the Law (The Free Press, 1994) and the editor of Abortion Wars: Fifty Years of Struggle, 1950-2000 (University of California Press, 1998). Solinger's scholarly articles include: "Dependency and Choice: The Two Faces of Eve," Social Justice 25 (Spring, 1998); "Poisonous Choice" in Bad Mothers (1998), edited by Molly Ladd-Taylor and Lauri Umansky; "'A Complete Disaster': Abortion and the Politics of Hospital Abortion Boards, 1950-1970," Feminist Studies 19 (Summer, 1993); and "Race and 'Value': Black and White Illegitimate Babies in the U. S., 1945-1965," Gender and History 4 (Autumn, 1992). In addition, Ms. Solinger has also organized art installations and traveling exhibitions that focus on women's issues and history.