Today, we remember the 110th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village, which started on the top floors of the factory on Washington Place. The fire spread quickly, fueled by paper sewing patterns and shirts hanging above the sewing tables. More than 700 people were working in the building, mostly young, immigrant women, many of whom were unable to escape because of blocked exits and unsafe fire escapes. Some jumped from windows in an attempt to escape the consuming heat and flames. Despite being extinguished quickly, in just over 18 minutes, 146 people, mostly women, lost their lives. Following the fire, new legislation was created to help ensure workplace and home safety, there were sweeping New York State inspections and investigations of factories, and FDNY began teaching fire safety and prevention, conducting fire drills in factories throughout New York City (FDNY, New York City Fire Department; New-York Historical Society: https://bit.ly/31jx6AY).
The embroidered women's shirts pictured above are among the folk art objects in the exhibition In Bloom: Nature and Art. Watch the recorded opening event of In Bloom: Nature and Art! Enjoy a tour of the exhibition and performance by the Shelest Piano Duo – Video on YouTube (https://youtu.be/RMm00cgKwUg).
The exhibition catalogue is available for purchase in the Museum shop (see below).
Order the exhibition catalogue in the Museum's online shop:
In Bloom: Nature and Art
Essay by guest curator Jaroslaw Leshko
Bilingual (English and Ukrainian)
Softcover, 120 pages
The Ukrainian Museum, New York, 2020
8 1/2"W x 8 3/4"H
US$29.95 plus S/H
Members: 10% discount
Three women's embroidered shirts shown in the photo (l–r):
-- Chernihiv oblast, northeastern Ukraine, 1920s. Body-length shirt made of fine linen cloth. The sleeves are decorated with white, red, and gray/black satin stitch embroidery. The motifs consist of rhombs and winding branches with geometric leaves. UM 14/24
-- Kyiv oblast, central Ukraine, 1930s. Donated by UNWLA Branch 33, Cleveland OH. Body-length shirt made of home-spun fine linen cloth. The sleeves are decorated with floral embroidery consisting of red and black rose motifs done using the cross stitch technique. UM 05/81
-- Poltava oblast, eastern Ukraine, 1900s. Body-length shirt made of fine home-woven linen cloth. The sleeves, sleeve insets, and hem are decorated with white-on-white embroidery using satin, pull thread, and eyelet techniques. The ornamental elements consist of rhombs, stars, and undulating vines with grape and guelder rose motifs. UM 96/32