top of page

2020-21 See Also Public Art Series

Reflect & Refract 



notes from the studio:

The history of both photography and devices of illusion are important elements of 

Reflect & Refract Democracy  - a public monument dedicated to the Democratic system and 100-year celebration of the 19th amendment.

Where do these photographs come from? Selecting historical photographs of labor, leisure, and protest the images set-out to represent the working parts of life in a democracy. These Cleveland photos (dating back to the 1800s) and 10000s of other photographs can be seen for free online at  CPL Public Library Photos, Library of Congress, Cleveland Memory Project.

Who Are These Great Women?

Election year 2020 also marks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. These are portraits of some of the Unsung Heroines of Cleveland. 

Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 1.02.01 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-10 at 9.42.53 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-10 at 9.42.46 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 1.03.11 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 1.04.14 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 1.04.51 AM.png

Lucia McCurdy McBride  1880-1970

Founded and directed the Cleveland Woman Suffrage Party and Ohio Woman Suffrage Association. She was the president of the League of Women Voters of Cleveland and was also involved in getting Cleveland's first birth control clinic, the Maternal Health Association (later Planned Parenthood).

Edith Anisfield Wolf  (1889-1963)

American poet and philanthropist. Advocate for education and supporter of creative writing arts/ Upon her death, Edith willed all her books to the Cleveland Public Library.

Helen Maria Chesnutt (1880–1969)

African American teacher of Latin and the author of an influential biography and Latin text book. She was an educator and an inspiration. She taught Latin for many years at Central High School, including to the poet Langston Hughes, who found her inspiring.

Jean Murrell Capers (1913-2017)

First African-American woman elected to Cleveland City Council. Capers remained outspoken and politically active after her retirement. She was an advocate for women, especially black women, in public life, in 1968 establishing the Black Women’s Forum. 

Jane Edna Hunter (1882-1971)

African-American social worker who established Working Girls Association in 1911 to provide safe living quarters for homeless unmarried African-American women (later became the Phillis Wheatley Association of Cleveland). She also severed as the Vice-president of the National Association of Colored Women. 


Florence E. Allen (1884-1966)

She was the first woman to serve on a state supreme court and one of the first two women to serve as a United States federal judge. She became one of Cleveland’s leading suffragists, a vigorous stump speaker and debater, and a tireless organizer and fundraiser.

Photo History Highlights:

Screen Shot 2020-08-21 at 1.51.18 PM.png

1. 1944 Cleveland East Ohio Gas explosion (CMP)

2. 1966 Hough Riot Aftermath, National Guard members patrol a Hough neighborhood as residents look on. (CMP)

3.1908 Lake Erie  "Gordon Park bathing pavilion, Cleveland, Ohio.", Detroit Publishing. (Library of Congress)

4. 1930 Police arresting man during the Communist march part of the Cleveland Unemployment Strike (CPL)

5. 1941 Sterling playground Cleveland (CPL)

6. 2020 Black Lives Matter protesters march from the Free Stamp to the Justice Center on Lakeside Avenue. (John Kuntz 


1. 1941/1973 Republic Steel's Cleveland works. (CPL)

2. 1961 Popular shopping district on St. Clair Ave. and East 105th St. in the heart of the Glenville neighborhood. Photographer: Matjasic, Ray. (CPL)

3. 1910 wood houses on Orange street. (CPL)

4. 1963 United Freedom Movement picket line at Board of Education Building (CPL)

On the East 6th side of the Cleveland Board of Education Building. The picketing was organized to protest de facto segregation in the Cleveland Public Schools system. (CPL)

5. 1948  Public Square (CPL)

6. 1927 West Side Market (CPL)


What's in the Eye-Peep Holes? The Stereoscope is a device by which two photographs of the same object taken at slightly different angles are viewed together, creating an impression of depth and 3D.  

Lenticular Maze of Photographs: Lenticular or "Tabula scalata" pictures with two images divided into strips on different sides of a corrugated carrier. Each image can be viewed correctly from a certain angle. Most tabula scalata have the images in vertical lines so the picture seems to change from one image to another while walking past it. Known as "turning pictures" dates back to the 16th century.

Armillary Spheres & Gazing Balls: The installations orbit like form is influenced by two historic forms the Armillary Sphere and Gazing Ball.


Portraits of noblemen often included an armillary sphere to suggest wisdom and learning.  Armillary Sphere is an early astronomical device for representing the great circles of the heavens. The sphere is a skeleton celestial globe. Invented by The Greek astronomer Hipparchus (c. 190 – c. 120 BC). While the Gazing Ball originated in 13th century Venice, Italy, The "Mad King Ludwig", is said to have adorned his Herrenchiemsee 1885 palace with lawn balls. These beautiful orbs adorned gardens, and it was believed that they held magical, mystical powers.

Tabula scalata.jpg

science museum group UK

Thank you  LAND STUDIO


Special THANK YOU to Archivist Brian Meggitt of CPL and Donna L Stewart of CMP

for digging through the collections for me -- while I was quarantined in NYC. 

bottom of page