This exhibit celebrates the life & legacy of J. Candace Clifford. She was a Maritime Historian, Researcher for the National Park Service and Historian for the US Lighthouse Society. Candace passed away last year.
Candace's impact on my life is monumental despite our brief encounter. I met Candace during a trip to the reopening of the Anclote Key Lighthouse in Florida. She was there to record the event and give a television interview. I would not be doing this exhibit if it wasn't for her. After the publication of an article she encouraged me to write, I was a contacted about an exhibit opportunity.
Candace was an invaluable resource to me and the lighthouse community. The exhibits at the National Lighthouse Museum were set up with her assistance. "Women Who Kept the Light" which Candace co-authored is the inspiration for my exhibit, "Shattering the Lens." It features my favorite lighthouses where women were light keepers and assistant light keepers.
"None-but a donkey would consider it 'unfeminine' to save lives."---Ida Lewis
With so much talk about the gender wage gap today, it's hard to imagine that back in the 1800’s there wasn't a wage gap for women lighthouse keepers.
In fact, at one time Ida Lewis was the highest paid lighthouse keeper. She even became the first woman to receive a gold Congressional Medal for lifesaving. Despite this, Lewis received the criticism that it was unladylike for women to row boats. Lewis replied, "None-but a donkey would consider it 'unfeminine' to save lives."
“Shattering the Lens” exhibit Sept 24-October 20 at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, New York sheds light on the dynamic impact of female lighthouse keepers. The exhibit is inspired by the book "Women Who Kept the Lights” by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford.
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