The second installment of the Artifact Series.
Agatha Tiegel Hanson, first female valedictorian at Gallaudet University, delivered her landmark speech “The Intellect of Woman” in 1893. In her speech she examines the role of women and argues that society’s expectations of women are actually what limits her, not her natural intelligence.
More than a hundred years later, we still face vestiges of the insurmountable barriers Agatha argued against. In this Art Deco-inspired artwork, two hands are held up in the ASL word for “sledgehammer.” A crumbling stone wall in the background absorbs the impact of the hands. Agatha’s urging echoes in the written ASL at top right, translating to “This day women have many barriers. We must come together in support and tear them down!”