First & Foremost Women's History Exhibit in NYS Capitol.
March 1, 2022
Albany, NY

OGS Commissioner Jeanette M. Moy Announces Opening of Women's History Month Exhibit at the New York State Capitol

OGS Commissioner Jeanette M. Moy Announces Opening of Women's History Month Exhibit at the New York State Capitol
"First & Foremost’ Exhibit Pays Tribute to New Yorkers Who Advanced Women’s Rights in the State and Nationwide
View the exhibit online here

New York State Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette M. Moy today announced the opening of the exhibit, First & Foremost, a new exhibition for Women’s History Month that pays tribute to trailblazers who made history by being the first to break down barriers for women. The exhibit celebrates individuals who rose to a level of prominence as the foremost advocates and experts in their chosen field.

The exhibit is located in the Governor’s Reception Room on the second floor of the New York State Capitol and will run through March.

“OGS is proud to continue the tradition of a Women’s History Month display at the State Capitol. This year’s exhibit places a spotlight on 20 individuals who have broken down barriers and blazed a trail for all to follow,” Commissioner Moy said. “Our inclusion of several contemporary leaders in this exhibit, such as Governor Hochul, Attorney General James, and Chief Judge DiFiore, is meant to be a reminder of New York’s historic and current role as a leader in the women’s rights movement. We should all recognize the need to build upon the progress that has already been made in advancing gender equality.”

First & Foremost honors New York women who made history by overcoming obstacles, becoming catalysts for change, and inspiring future generations of New Yorkers. New York State has long been at the forefront of the fight to advance women’s equality and ensure fairness for all. In 1848 when the first women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York State became known as the birthplace of the women’s rights movement.

The exhibit focuses on a diverse group of women who represent progressive thinkers and activists in a variety of disciplines, including science, health care, the arts, business, literature, the military, education, labor, religion, and public service.

Among the 20 individuals featured in the exhibit:

  • Betty Lee Sung is an activist and writer who co-founded the Asian American/Asian Research Institute at the City University of New York, is considered the leading scholar on Chinese Americans.
  • Mary Edmonia Lewis “Wildfire” was an artist born in Greenbush, Rensselaer County, who became one of the first sculptors of African American and Native American heritage to achieve international acclaim.
  • Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing the 12th Congressional District of New York centered in Brooklyn from 1969 to 1983.
  • Chien-Shiung Wu was a nuclear physicist who was referred to as the “First Lady of Physics” and became the first woman to serve as president of the American Physical Society.
  • Susan B. Anthony was a leading figure of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and in 1892 she became president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
  • Joanne Shenandoah was a Grammy-award-winning artist who was born in Syracuse and, through her critically acclaimed music, raised awareness of the marginalization of Native Americans and proclaimed messages of peace.
  • Anna Mae Hays was a Buffalo native who in 1970 became the first female U.S. General after serving on the front lines as a nurse during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. 
  • Sojourner Truth was born enslaved in Ulster County and escaped from slavery to become an outspoken advocate for abolition, temperance, and civil and women’s rights in the 19th century. 

The Women’s History Month exhibit is free and open to the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Find more information about the exhibit and visiting the New York State Capitol here.