Our Mission To document and celebrate the artistic and cultural heritage of working people and the labor movement, and encourage understanding of their often overlooked contributions to our society.
Labor Day Souvenir circa 1910
The early American labor movement used patriotic images to convey the role of workers in building the country and its democracy.
"I'm surprised that of all that pain, some beauty came, "Martin Luther King, Jr. is quoted as saying of this series of photographs by Bob Adelman.
Political clothing, 1947
Labor activists could wear their politics around their necks during the campaign to repeal the 1947 Taft-Hartley law.
Exhibit – Defending the Social Safety Net
The social safety net is our way of protecting the most vulnerable and is a social insurance program, not an entitlement program. A tradition as old as humanity, it is currently under attack. This 1936 poster from the Social Security Office introduces the concept to senior citizens.
Exhibit: Women Firefighters in NYC
The law gives qualified women the right to work as firefighters, but the process of making that a reality has been a struggle. Image: first transgender NYC firefighter in the 2011 NYC Pride Parade.
Exhibit - Union Square, a National Historic Landmark
Stories and images behind six large illustrated brass plaques commemorating the history of labor in New York's Union Square.
Exhibit – Sisters in the Brotherhood
Some women made history in the 1970s-80s by going to work every day – as truck drivers, firefighters, electricians, plumbers, carpenters.
Exhibit: Labor Sings!
Music has always energized the labor movement in this country. Listen to songs from the 1930s and ‘40s, including “Sit Down,” “Which Side Are You On?,” “Union Maid” and the ever-popular “Solidarity Forever”.
Clara Lemlich Awards for Social Activism
Celebrating AC Cunningham, Mirene Ghossein, Evie Rich, Alix Kates Shulman and Doreen Wohl.
Exhibit - Civil Rights History Walks into the Classroom
Funeral button for Martin Luther King. King's casket was carried by a mule-driven farm cart, symbolizing his support of the rights of poor people.
Generations of Brooklyn
Portrait paintings of multi-generational Brooklyn families. Artist Nina Talbot interviewed each person, and intertwines their histories into the backgrounds of the portraits.