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The Handwerker Gallery presents the Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit Symposium at 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 3.   

Jessica Dallow (University of Alabama at Birmingham) will explore how the objects/tools in this contemporary art exhibition operate differently from those transformed by the feminist artists of the 1970s; Jeffreen Hayes (Ithaca College) will discuss images of African American labor in visual culture; and Rickie Solinger (Wakeup/Arts) will provide the curatorial context.

Many of the approximately thirty-five works on display in Reimagining the Distaff Toolkitfeature tools that were important for women's domestic labor from the 18th century through World War II. The contemporary artists have placed objects such as a dressmaker’s figure, pots, pans, baskets, rolling pins, darning eggs and rug- beaters at the center of their works. One piece incorporates a 19th-century distaff, an object used to hold wool during spinning.  Over time, the word distaff came to refer to matters and objects relevant to the domestic or women’s sphere, and then, to women, generally.

Support for this symposium has been provided in part by the Department of History and the Women’s Studies Program at Ithaca College. An illustrated catalogue with an essay by Susan Strasser (University of Delaware) and an introduction by Rickie Solinger is available. 

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Erika Fowler-Decatur at 607.274.3548. Please make requests for accommodations as far in advance as possible.

All Handwerker Gallery events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and weekends, noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is closed to the public on Tuesdays but can accommodate group or class visits by appointment.

For more information please visit or call the Handwerker Gallery at 274-3018. To schedule a group or class visit, please e-mail Erika Fowler-Decatur (


Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit Symposium at the Handwerker Gallery on Thursday | 0 Comments |
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