In this exhibition, artist Maggie Libby documents the labor conditions and primarily female Franco-American workers’ stories at the Hathaway Shirt Company, the last shirt manufacturer in Maine. Libby’s artwork is inspired by Waterville native Margaret Bernier’s groundbreaking 1981 Colby Senior Scholar thesis, Labor study of the Franco-American community of Waterville, Maine from 1890 to 1940, as well as other individual stories, theses, local histories, and publications from Franco historians and writers, as it briefly traces the history and growth of the C. F. Hathaway organization from the perspective of its workers. The exhibit will be comprised of interactive components, charcoal drawings, and community-contributed photographs and memorabilia relating to experiences at the Hathaway. In partnership with Paula Raymond, a South End neighbor, and partner in the project, we hope to continue to gather the stories of those who worked at the Hathaway, whose presence and earning power supported their local families and community businesses in untold ways.
Image details: Maggie Libby, Hathaway Project Map. 30 x 22 1/2in., Mixed Media on Rives BFK Paper