Lest We Forget, The Strength of Tears, of Those Who Toiled
60 in HIGH x 8.5 in WIDE x 1.75 in DEEP
(152.40 cm HIGH x 21.59 cm WIDE x 4.44 cm DEEP)
Museum Purchase Fund

reverse, in ink (with inscription): "Betye Saar"
On wash boards (on front): "Lest We Forget The Stregnth of Tears of Those Who Toiled". Verso, in ink:"Lest We Forget The Stregnth of Tears of Those Who Toiled (Tower #2) Betye Saar 1998"
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY, "Betye Saar: Workers + Warriors: The Return of Aunt Jemima," Sept. 10 - Oct. 31, 1998 (plus venues)Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, "African-American Art: 20th Century Masterworks," April 20 - June 1, 200

This work is composed of three vintage washboards upon which historical photographs of African American female slaves have been placed. The ladder-like structure of the piece, which culminates in a framed photograph of two well dressed middle-class African American women, is a metaphor for the stregnth and endurance of those who made their achievements possible. As Saar explains, "My concerns are the struggle of memory against the attraction of forgetting. By recycling [the washboards], I am honoring the memory of that labor and the working woman upon whose shoulders we now stand". (per Karen Tsujimoto, from memo dated August 25, 03).

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