Portfolios > HOME/WORK / HOUSE/WORK; A MEDITATION ON LABOR AT THE GLESSNER HOUSE MUSEUM

Servants' Hall
mixed media installation
2006
KitchenCloset/Cook
Sepia on sheer curtain
2006
Butler's Apron/Silver Tray
acrylic on apron, silver tray, text
2007
Tray/ Butlers Pantry
siver tray, calling card/text
2006
Dining Room with WorkShirts
denim shirts, printers ink, work apron, conte
2007
School Slate
slate, chalk,
2006

Historic house museums usually focus on the builders of the house or the era in which it was built. They typically don’t interpret the house as part of a social landscape, as a workplace, or use it to tell stories other than those of its’ original owners.
In Home/Work / House/Work: A Meditation on Labor I used the Glessner House museum to focus on stories of ordinary people - with a special focus on the house as a workplace. The exhibition explores the relationship between immigration and people in “serving” work, yesterday and today; “women’s roles”; the idea of the perfect household; and status and class.

To create the work, I spent months researching the social and economic realities of a household like the Glessners in 1900. The installation employs information from labor and immigration statistics, 19th and early 20th century manuals on how to hire and train servants, literary sources, journalism –even poetry.

CLICK ON THUMBNAILS ABOVE FOR IMAGES AND NARRATIVE