Industry Not Servitude

Industry Not Servitude

Industry Not Servitude!, commissioned by The US Department of the Interior and The National Endowment for the Arts; a permanent installation at The National Historic Park, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1996.

Industry Not Servitude recuperates a history that was repressed or forgotten, The Lowell Female Labor Reform Association, the first labor organization for women mill workers in the United States. The women activists who were involved in the LFLRA broke new ground in the area of women's rights and made significant contributions to anti-slavery movements and labor reform.

Even after a hundred and fifty years, the power of their language and the energy of their thinking continues to challenge us to answer difficult, yet still relevant questions: What constitutes meaningful work? Are human rights secure within our economic system? What is the value of knowledge and education?

Industry Not Servitude has five sculptural elements distributed along the length of Lucy Larcom Park, which adjoins The Lowell National Historical Park for Labor and Industrial History in Massachusetts. Fabricated in granite and steel the permanent installation includes a fourteen-hour clock, a seating circle, a circular fence, steps, and trail markers, all inscribed with the slogans, quotations, and other historical writings of these early feminist LFLRA labor organizers. Against the backdrop of today's labor issues, Industry Not Servitude connects us to the struggles and daily realities of mid-19th century industrial America.