Dead Ladies Show NYC #3

I am very pleased to present the third edition of the DEAD LADIES SHOW in NYC, coming at you on Wednesday, 2 January, from 7:00-9:00pm at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street).

We’ll be kicking off the New Year in style, with presentations about a radical suffragist, a forward-thinking sculptor, and a former sex worker turned activist. Presented by socialist feminist biologist ALEXANDRA WALLING, female-artist-focused critic HALL W. ROCKEFELLER, and editor extraordinaire BRIA SANDFORD, with the occasional interjection by your host, MOLLY O’LAUGHLIN. Join us as we greet 2019 with a dose of Dead Ladies—good for the body and soul.

Free admission; please buy a drink or two to ensure the future of DLS NYC at KGB.

Sylvia Pankhurst

SYLVIA PANKHURST was an artist, suffragette, communist, anti-fascist, pacifist, newspaper editor, and tireless crusader for justice. A co-founder of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union, she soon abandoned the bourgeois organization to focus on poor, working women and advocate for pacifism during WWI; after the war, she became a communist and avowed anti-fascist. In 1944, Pankhurst helped found Ethiopia’s first teaching hospital, and she later moved to the country as a guest of the Emperor. When she died in 1960, she was given a state funeral and burial in Addis Ababa’s Holy Trinity church—the only foreigner ever awarded such an honor.

Eva Hesse

Artist EVA HESSE survived the Holocaust, but succumbed to brain cancer thirty-one years later, which is the textbook definition of unfair. Despite this, she made more of her thirty-four years on Earth than most people make of lifetimes double that length. She changed the way art is made forever (how many people can say that?), pioneering the movement that would become known as post-minimalism. She made simple sculptures whose structures belied the chaos within, captivating the art world by the time she was in her late twenties. Eva Hesse may be the most important sculptor of the 20th century. (No, this writer does not consider Duchamp a sculptor, and yes, she did consider Rodin for this distinction.)

Andrea Dworkin

Radical feminist ANDREA DWORKIN is somewhat inaccurately famous for claiming, “all sex is rape,” but the arguments she actually made in the 1970s-1990s were no less controversial. When she crusaded against male dominance and domestic violence in the 1970s through 1990s, conservatives mocked her for being anti-man. When she campaigned unsuccessfully against pornography, liberals vilified her as puritanical and prudish. Yet Dworkin would not be silenced. Drawing on her personal experience as a sex worker and as a survivor of rape, she made it her business to speak, even to shout, on behalf of all abused women in a way that still echoes today.

Last but not least, a quick word about your presenters:

ALEXANDRA WALLING is a PhD student in Comparative Biology, where she studies microbial evolution. When she is not pursuing her studies, she organizes with the Socialist Feminist Working Group of the New York City Democratic Socialists of America.

HALL W. ROCKEFELLER is an art historian and critic. She is the founder of less than half, a website that covers female artists in New York City, including exhibition reviews and interviews with practicing female artists. Visit lessthanhalf.org to subscribe to the newsletter.
BRIA SANDFORD is an editor at Penguin Random House.

Dead Ladies Show NYC #2

It is with great pleasure we invite you to the sophomore outing of the DEAD LADIES SHOW in NYC, back by popular demand! Please join us at the KGB Bar on Wednesday, 7 November, from 7:00-9:00pm.

The very special second NYC edition brings you not just your usual three ladies, but an extra bonus LIVING lady as well—we are thrilled to welcome AMY PADNANI to the stage to talk about her superlative NYT series, “Overlooked,” the reading of which has been described by some as akin to attending the Dead Ladies Show, except in the comfort of your own home and far better established.

The incredible women being posthumously presented include a suffragist hiker, a queer star of the Harlem Renaissance, and the first woman to run for U.S. President. The perfect dénouement from Election Day, if you ask us. (Everybody vote!) Presented by editorial guru HELEN RICHARD, rare researcher LIA BOYLE, and your host, MOLLY O’LAUGHLIN. Join us as we raise a glass to these glass-ceiling-shatterers.

Free admission; please buy a drink or two to ensure the future of DLS NYC at KGB.

(N.B.: once up the outside stairs of the building, enter and climb one more flight of stairs, then take a hard right and enter the bar. We are not in the Red Room, which is yet another flight up! We do not need to hike more elevation! We are not all Fanny Bullock Workman!)

Fanny Bullock Workman

An American hiker, cyclist, explorer, geographer, adventurer, and author born in 1859, FANNY BULLOCK WORKMAN was one of the first female professional mountaineers. She and her husband cycled thousands of miles across Europe, Algeria, and India, and were the first Americans to explore the Himalayas in depth. Workman set several women’s altitude records, published eight travel books, insisted on a new precedent for accurate scientific record-keeping, and championed women’s rights and women’s suffrage every step of the way.

Gladys Bentley

GLADYS BENTLEY was a blues singer, pianist and entertainer in the Harlem Renaissance. A Black lesbian, she started her career as a crossdressing pianist and singer at a gay speakeasy called Harry Hansberry’s Clam House, and she was so popular that the club was soon renamed after her. Her combination of musical talent with a raunchy sense of humor and flamboyant queerness wowed audiences of all races and classes. Langston Hughes called her “an amazing exhibition of musical energy…a perfect piece of African sculpture, animated by her own rhythm.”

Victoria Woodhull

Once called “Mrs. Satan,” VICTORIA CLAFLIN WOODHULL was the first woman to run for president—announcing her bid in 1870, 50 years before women had the right to vote. Disowned by the suffragettes for her radical ideas—that women should be able to choose whom they love, that marital rape should be illegal, and that birth control should be widely available—she was far ahead of her time. Among many other achievements, she was the first woman to address a congressional committee and one of the first female brokers on Wall Street.

Helen Richard is an associate editor at G. P. Putnam’s Sons and a moderately aspirational female mountaineer.

Molly O’Laughlin is a writer and translator who recently moved back to NYC from Berlin, Germany.

Lia Boyle studies rare genetic disorders and directs plays in her spare time.

Dead Ladies Show NYC #1

Many of you have heard the good news—one of Berlin’s favorite institutions, the Dead Ladies Show, is coming to NYC! Molly O’Laughlin will be hosting an intimate, informative evening in which we learn about the lives of three deceased, fabulous women from three living—but equally fabulous—presenters. Join us at the KGB Bar on Wednesday, September 5, from 7–9pm.

The time is ripe—dead ladies are all around us, including in the New York Times’s “Overlooked,” a collection of belated obituaries for those non-white men whose contributions to society over the centuries have gone…overlooked. This will be like that, except live, with slideshows (and social drinking).

Bring friends! Bring acquaintances! Bring strangers! No admission this time (yay, first round!); please buy a drink or two to ensure the future of DLS NYC at KGB.

P.S. Got a dead lady you’d like to present in the future? Get in touch! Three rules: 1. Ladies must have been dead at least a year. 2. Ladies must have identified as ladies in their lifetimes. 3. No fascists.

Dorothy Day

DOROTHY DAY was a journalist, social activist, and political radical in New York in the 20th century. During the Great Depression, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement, a pacifist and social justice movement comprised of direct aid for the poor and nonviolent political action on their behalf. The Catholic Worker Movement continues to be active throughout the world. Day is a candidate for sainthood in the Catholic Church.

Rosalind Franklin

ROSALIND FRANKLIN’s research helped elucidate the structure of DNA, the molecule that determines the growth, development and reproduction of all living things. She was a chemist and an expert in X-ray crystallography, a technique that generates atomic level structures. Her results were essential in Watson & Crick’s final model of DNA, but the data was shared without her consent, even without her knowledge. Franklin turned her attention to studying viruses, visualizing the first viral atomic structures and studying the structure of polio. At age 38, she passed away from ovarian cancer, possibly due to her prolonged research with X-rays. During her lifetime, fellow scientists recognized her valuable work on coal structures and viruses. However, her essential work on DNA was only recently recognized. Now, she’s received many posthumous honors, including having a medical school and an asteroid named after her.

Ann Lowe

ANN LOWE dressed pirate queens, American royalty and silver screen starlets during her career that spanned over 50 years. Born in the south, to a long line of dressmakers, she took over the family business at the age of 16 by designing a gown for the Governor of Alabama’s wife. She worked her way from Alabama to a studio on Madison Avenue. Her work is featured in museums around the country, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Through the course of ELIZEBETH SMITH FRIEDMAN’s life, she went from Quaker schoolteacher in Indiana to master cryptanalyst whose work laid the foundations for the NSA. She went up against Shakespeare conspiracy theorists, rumrunners, and even J. Edgar Hoover. Her work in World War II helped prevent the Nazis from taking over South America, but nearly all of it was a national secret until after her death.

Your presenters:
Mary Kate Skehan has worked in publishing for five years and currently works in marketing at Penguin.

Chioma Madubata will earn her MD/PhD from Columbia in 2019. She studied cancer biology during her PhD. She got her start with dead ladies early, having attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland.

Candace Munroe’s career in fashion has taken her to Gilt, Bloomingdale’s, and Eileen Fisher. Having earned a master’s in business from NYU Stern, she now works at Tommy Hilfiger.

Molly O’Laughlin is a writer and translator who recently moved back to NYC from Berlin, Germany.