Mar 1

10 Murals Honoring Women

by: Chad Eric Smith

March is Women’s History Month! As part of our celebration of the contributions of women in history and contemporary society, below are a few of our favorite murals honoring women who have shaped history.

1. We Still Here! 

We Still Here © 2021 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Gaia, Jetsonorama, & Ursula Rucker, 22 Maplewood Mall. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Building on Germantown’s rich cultural legacy as a home for artists and writers, We Still Here!, by Jetsonarama and Ursula Rucker, highlights poetry from local youth and community members. Emanating from a megaphone, Rucker’s call that “We Still Here! ” amplifies the community voices that have long championed Germantown as one of Philadelphia’s gems. Her poem celebrates the diversity and brilliance of this historic community.

2. Untitled, Amy Sherald 

untitled © 2019 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Amy Sherald, 1108 Sansom Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This mural, by artist Amy Sherald, is based on a portrait of Najee S., a young Philadelphian and participant in Mural Arts’ Art Education program. Sherald made headlines worldwide with her stunning official portrait of Michelle Obama, our first African-American First Lady.  Like the First Lady’s portrait, Sherald’s mural challenges ideas about identity and the public gaze, asking the questions: “Who is allowed to be comfortable in public spaces? Who is represented in art? How can one woman’s portrait begin to shift that experience for others?”

3. Harriet Tubman 

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad © 2006 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Sam Donovan, 2950 Germantown Avenue. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.

This mural at 2985 Germantown Avenue in Philadephia celebrates the courageous work of Harriet Tubman and Philadelphian-area abolitionists, including William Still, Lucretia Mott, Robert Purvis, and Jacob Blockson.  Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

4. The Women of Germantown 

Women of Germantown © 2001 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / David McShane, 5820 Germantown Avenue. Photo by Maggie Kuhn.

The Women of Germantown on the historic YWCA building celebrates three influential women born in the neighborhood: Louisa May Alcott, a writer known for the novel Little Women; Clarice Herbert, the first African American woman on the YWCA’s central board of directors; and Sarah McClean, whose patronage built the Germantown Y in 1912.

5. Mamie Nichols 

Mamie Nichols © 2019 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / David McShane, Mamie Nichols Community Center, 1529 S. 22nd Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Mamie Nichols was a community leader who advocated fiercely for her community by serving as the Executive Director of the Point Breeze Federation.

6. Tribute to Marie Dendy 

Tribute to Marie Dendy © 2018 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Pricilla Bell, Dendy Recreation Center, 1555 North 10th Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Marie Dendy served as a block captain in her North Philly neighborhood and devoted her life to improving her community. It is through her hard work that the Dendy Recreation Center was constructed and later renamed in her honor.

7. Tribute to Lt. Joyce Craig  

Tribute to Lt. Joyce Craig © 2017 CIty of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Nathaniel Lee, Lawncrest Free Library, 6098 Rising Sun Avenue. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Lieutenant Joyce Craig of Lawncrest’s Engine 64 lost her life in the line of duty in 2014, while fighting a massive fire and saving lives.

8. Timeless Journey: Patti LaBelle  

Timeless Journey: Patti La Belle © 2004 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Peter Pagast, 3402 Mantua Avenue. 2019 Restoration. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.

Singer-songwriter Patti LaBelle is the Godmother of Soul, a force of nature in the entertainment world, and a local hero.

9. Pioneering Women from A to Z  

Women In Education © 2011 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Shira Walinsky, 4400 Haverford Avenue. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Following the alphabet from start to finish, this mural from Shira Walinsky features pioneering pilots, activists, teachers, explorers, artists, and so many more.

10. Women in Progress  

Women in Progress © 2001 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Larissa Preston & Cesar Viveros-Herrera, 1307 Locust Street. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.

This mural pays tribute to the unnamed and unacknowledged women throughout history.

Last updated: Mar 17, 2022

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alison selbst says

where are some of these murals of women cited-no addresses listed for Patti Labelle, Lt. Joyce Craig and Women in Progress.
Wish there were more walking tours available...will there be more offered in spring and warmer weather?