An Open Letter From Artist Bonnie Lautenberg
Lady Liberty: Tears Of Roe
On the eve of midterm elections in the United States, artist Bonnie Lautenberg, recently appointed by the President to the White House Advisory Committee on the Arts, has written a letter to the nation.
|Bonnie Lautenberg, Tears of Roe
To My Fellow Americans,
We are at a crucial turning point now ― just weeks away from the mid-term elections. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, I responded by creating this new artwork Lady Liberty: Tears of Roe to express my disgust that women no longer have the right to decide what to do with their bodies.
Then I decided to use this artwork to encourage people to fight back, and to vote for candidates who will champion our freedoms.
Images of tears have long been used by artists and poets to evoke a heartfelt response, and the word woe is defined as a misfortune causing great sadness.
I had taken a photograph of the Statue of Liberty, and I instinctively added tears running down her cheeks and the word “Roe” to her crown, symbolizing the cruel distress forced upon millions of Americans when the Supreme Court took away women’s right to choose.
We all have the power to make a difference during the midterms. Each of us have our individual strengths and talents.
What can you do to combat the egregious Supreme Court decision? Plenty! Look into your heart and recall all that you have been through. Connect with your own personal power.
In an emergency – and this is an emergency – there are solutions that can be discovered within the moment.
This is the time for all of us to work together to uncover the solution that is not lost, but is at our fingertips: the power of voting. I have been doing my part by donating fine art prints of this new artwork to pro-choice fundraising events.
I hope that grandmothers, mothers, daughters and granddaughters look upon Tears of Roe as a reminder of the freedom of choice women had for fifty years.
Make no mistake: this is a threat to our democracy. The same people who stole our right to choose will eventually try to steal our other hard-won rights too. Join me in finding creative ways we can make a difference for these mid-term elections.
Let’s all do our part to ensure the will of the majority is restored, so that Lady Liberty’s tears of woe won’t be in vain. The freedom to choose, which fifty years ago was fought so hard for, can be rightfully honored.
About the artist Bonnie Lautenberg
Bonnie Lautenberg is an artist, photographer, and writer, and she is the widow of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (one of the longest serving Senators in the United States).
In 2022, she was appointed to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. Her new book about the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s life, including her photography, will be released by Rutgers University Press next year.
More than thirty of Lautenberg’s works have been selected by the Jewish Museum Florida-FIU for a new solo exhibition featuring her images of women championing freedom, during Art Basel Miami Beach which attracts 70,000 art lovers from around the world, read more about this museum show here.
Her artwork is in several private and museum collections, including: The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture; the Boca Raton Museum of Art; the Collection of Norman and Irma Braman; The New York Historical Society Museum; the Broad Museum in Los Angeles; The Newark Museum of Art; Portland Museum of Art; and Stillman College Art Gallery in Alabama, among others.
Her series How They Changed Our Lives: Senators As Working People is in the Library of Congress. She is based in New York and Palm Beach.