Governor Cuomo today announced the opening of the 2014 Womens History Month exhibit highlighting female business leaders, innovators and Entrepreneurs from New York. The exhibit recognizes and celebrates the contributions of women to New Yorks legacy of commercial success. The women featured in the exhibit, both known and unknown, have helped shatter barriers, broken down stereotypes and helped make New York a leading state for entrepreneurship. The display, located in the East Gallery, is part of an ongoing initiative to create museum quality exhibits for public viewing at the State Capitol.
"As the birth place of the Womens Rights movement, New York celebrates the important contributions women have made to our state's economic development," said Governor Cuomo. "New York women have been trailblazers in many fields, shattering glass ceilings in the business world before American women even had the right to vote. They paved the way for future CEOs and entrepreneurs. I encourage all New Yorkers to visit this exhibit at the Capitol and learn more about these extraordinary women."
New York has a proud history of being a state where people have come to succeed in business. After New York became a state, many of the economic freedoms women enjoyed were repealed by the State Legislature and the Courts. However, thousands of women continued to play an important role in the business life of almost every community across the state. Though it would be a century and a half before the importance of women business leaders and entrepreneurs would be recognized at large, their impact was felt along the Main Streets of New York.
In addition to brief descriptions of each period, the exhibit will also feature biographies of some of the influential women who helped the economic make-up of New York. The biographies and descriptions will be complemented by a display of artifacts that pertain to the exhibits theme.
The women featured in the release include:
- Madame C.J. Walker, first Black woman to become a millionaire
- Martha Matilda Harper, woman who invented the franchise
- Louise Blanchard Bethune, first woman to become a professionally licensed architect and had her own firm
- Lillian Vernon, woman who founded the Vernon catalogue for shopping
- Muriel Siebert, first woman to own a seat on the NY Stock Exchange
- Joan Whitney Payson, first owner of the New York Mets
- Rose Morgan, owner of a famous boutique and beauty salon at the turn of the 20th century
- Estee Lauder, founder of the fortune 500 company that bears her name
- Liz Claiborne, founder of multinational company that bears her name
- Donna Karan, founder of DKNY
- Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment
- Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox and first black woman to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company
- Lidia Bastianich, restaurateur and author
Sample artifacts featured in the exhibit include:
- Textbook from Madam C.J. Walkers Beauty School.
- Badge worn by sales reps for Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company
- Product container from Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company
- Photographs of Madame C.J. Walkers home in Irvington-Villa Lewaro