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Curator Picture Talks - Song of the Shirt


Free with admission

This ten minute talk will take you through the story of this seamstress at work, who is using her needlework to earn money in a respected manner. She faces exploitation, however, from extremely long hours and low set piecework rates produced in order to force women to choose between starvation and prostitution. This painting therefore was one of the few produced around 1850 as a representation of contemporary social problems, with Watts providing strong support for social protest.