About the Project
In a city that boasts hundreds of sculptures to historic figures, there are only two dedicated to women: French heroine Joan of Arc and Bostonian Quaker Mary Dyer. To address the absence of women in public monuments in this city, Sharon Hayes’ sculpture If They Should Ask marked a long line of Philadelphia women, from the mid-1600s to the present day, who could be or could have been recognized with monuments. Immersing herself in the voluminous array of monuments around the city, Hayes recreated nine pedestals from existing monuments in Philadelphia, scaled them to half-size, and arranged them together in a singular assemblage. Hayes convened a group of intergenerational, intersectional, and civically-engaged women to discuss, as Hayes notes, “the persistent and aggressive exclusion of women from this form of public recognition.” Hayes and these advisors initiated
an ongoing collection of names of Philadelphia-area women who have contributed to the social, cultural, political, and economic life of the city, a selection of which were incorporated into the sculpture. For a full list of names and to contribute your own, visit iftheyshouldask.com.
Major support for Monument Lab projects staged in Philadelphia’s five squares provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. An expanded artist roster and projects at additional neighborhood sites made possible by the William Penn Foundation. Lead corporate support provided by Bank of America. Generous additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
For a full list of funders click here.