Worcester Women's History Project

Press Release

New Portraits to be Installed in Mechanics Hall

September 8, 1999

Four newly commissioned portraits of distinguished women will be installed in Worcester's historic Mechanics Hall on September 21, 1999. The large scale portraits of 19th century Worcester area women, Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix, Abby Keeley Foster, and Lucy Stone are the results of the Honoring Women in Mechanics Hall Task Force of the Worcester Women's History Project, to bring public recognition to women who have contributed to the history and culture of the Worcester area.

Chaired by Mary Melville and Dr. Shirley S. Siff, the Honoring Women in Mechanics Hall initiative began in 1996, and through the combined efforts of many volunteers and advisors, has succeeded in completing the historical research, fund raising, community education, selection of portrait artists, and professional installation of four large portraits in the Great Hall of this distinguished concert and lecture hall. The important work of selecting the artists, overseeing their progress as well as the framing and installation has been done by the Arts Selection Committee, Sheila L. Tetler, Chair, art teacher and former President of ARTSWorcester, Georgia Barnhill, Curator of Graphic Arts at the American Antiquarian Society, David Brigham, Curator of American Art at the Worcester Art Museum, and Sandra Grindlay, Curator of Portraits for the Harvard University Museums.

While the public who attend events at Mechanics Hall after September 21 will immediately notice the addition of women to the rows of portraits of prominent male citizens exhibited there, the official welcome will take place on October 25, 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Great Hall, 321 Main Street, Worcester, at a ceremony to recognize the artists, volunteers and contributors who have been involved in the project. The event is open to the public.

Please call ahead (see above numbers) if a member of the press will attend. (See enclosed background materials for more information.)

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Worcester Women's History Project - One Salem Square - Worcester, MA 01608
info@wwhp.org - 508-767-1852