Image courtesy of New-York Historical Society.

Free admission (all visitors, all hours)

The story of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union and its role in shaping women’s activism is explored through garments, objects, documents, and photographs in this installation, on view in the Jean Dubinsky Appleton Women and Labor Exhibition Case at our Center for Women’s History. For nearly 200 years, women from across the globe have labored in New York’s garment industry. The unions they organized—particularly the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (ILGWU)—are some of the most important organizations of women in U.S. history. The ILGWU fought for recognition and protection for women workers on the job and reimagined how a union could serve workers and their communities beyond the factories. Women organizers in the ILGWU pioneered modern worker benefits and inspired social welfare programs in education, health, recreation, and legal aid. Through their work, the ILGWU and its women organizers also shaped women’s movements across the 20th century, from the suffrage movement of the 1910s to the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. Ladies’ Garments, Women’s Work, Women’s Activism is presented by the New-York Historical Society and on view until July 21.