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无毛视频楢 Woman无毛视频檚 Place无毛视频 examines the history of women in Pittsburgh

By Brad Hundt 4 min read
article image - Brad Hundt
A flier for Pittsburgh feminist groups from 1976.

PITTSBURGH-An argument can be made that Pittsburgh’s image has been built on a foundation of masculine pursuits and preoccupations.

Think manufacturing and steel, football and hunting, and tossing back some I.C. Light in a neighborhood bar.

The Pittsburgh region is much more rich and varied than brawn and brewskis, a fact that has become more and more apparent in recent years as its population and industries have become more diverse and varied. But its long history outside the mill and the gridiron comes to the fore in the exhibit “A Woman’s Place: How Women Shaped Pittsburgh” at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

The 9,000-square-foot exhibit is packed with artifacts, photographs, clothing and other items that illustrate how women in Western Pennsylvania have changed the region and the world. Some of the highlights include a tiny handbag that was carried around the world in 1889 by Pittsburgh Dispatch columnist Nellie Bly, original sketches by Monessen native Peggy Owens Skillen for “Sesame Street,” and protest banners and buttons that were produced during the struggle for women’s suffrage.

Andy Masich, the president and CEO of the Heinz History Center, pointed out that the stories of women and other groups have been left untold by historians, “but we hope to flip the script with this exhibit.”

He continued that women have been “entrepreneurs, activists, athletes, artists, changemakers and pathbreakers, and all those stories are here.”

“A Woman’s Place” looks at the infinite number of roles that women have had and the accomplishments they have attained, and it starts with a timeline of key events in women’s history both nationally and regionally, from the struggle to get the vote to the civil rights movement and beyond. It also highlights how the expected roles of women have changed, and that extends into such areas as media, sports and politics. Some of the women whose stories are told in the exhibit include Sophie Masloff, the first female mayor of Pittsburgh; Anne Feeney, the Charleroi-born folk singer and activist; Lois Weber, a Pittsburgh-born film director in the silent era; and Sarah B. Cochran, the Fayette County “coal and coke queen,” who ran a sprawling company with holdings in many states and was an avid supporter of higher education.

The image of Rosie the Riveter, the enduring World War II-era image of a factory woman flexing the muscle on her right arm, was created by illustrator J. Howard Miller when he was working for Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburgh. The History Center’s mannequin of Rosie the Riveter is on display in “A Woman’s Place,” and the exhibit explores how women kept Pittsburgh factories humming during the second world war, and in other conflicts, too.

Leslie Przybylek, the senior curator at the History Center, explained, “There is always a lot of tragedy and sacrifice to war, but it has also been a chance for women to show skills and do things.”

Several special programs are planned throughout the run of “A Woman’s Place.” On Sunday, May 5, author and journalist Brooke Kroeger will be at the History Center to discuss her book, “Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism.” A panel discussion with local journalists and members of the Women’s Press Club will look at how women’s roles in the media have changed.

Then, on Thursday, May 23, leaders in the Pittsburgh legal community will reflect on the career of Rochelle S. Friedman, a former judge on Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. On Sunday, June 30, the History Center will host a panel discussion on the art of uncovering the stories of overlooked women in history with authors Kimberly Hess and Eliza Smith Brown.

Additional programs are planned. “A Woman’s Place” will be at the History Center through Sunday, Oct. 6. For additional information, go online to heinzhistorycenter.org.

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