WHO WOULD DOUBT I'M A MAN?
Found ephemera appropriated for the 10x8 mixed media work hinting of, um, gender fluidity. White and black sheet music (I reversed the image to white on black) was copied, blown up and colored with white paint pen. A found b&w photograph from an 1890's cigarette card was copied, blown up, colored (acrylic, markers, photo dyes , paint pen) and cut out. It was mounted on the adapted sheet music which was then glued to an abstract background--actually the old Japanese flag design.
Some popular baseball songs in the early 1900's-- from the Progressive Era to the New Era (1900-1929)-- explored women's rights. But not always solidly. Deleted from the very popular "Take Me Out to The Ballgame" were verses about Katie Casey, a baseball fan who wanted to go with her boyfriend to a baseball game. But, you know, baseball was for guys. So Katie was OUT! Out of the park and the lyrics. The song "Who Would Doubt That I'm A Man" was a popular song of the same era. It was adapted from the comic opera "The Mormons" and dedicated to “the New Woman." In the sport itself, pro women players were found just on cigarette and gum cards. My player was readily found in a package of Virginia Bright Cigarettes.
In 1886, Virginia tobacco company Allen & Ginter created the cards to promote Virginia Brights smokes which were "unexceptionably fine" and "unusually mild" and came from the state's "Bright Districts." They hired models to pose as baseball players in two series of sepia-toned baseball cards.
The stiffness of the novelty baseball cards helped the 10 hand-rolled cigarettes in the pack stay uncrushed--more female labor (models) used to ensure a quality smoke sold. However, in an industry-changing move the smoke company became the first to hire women with more than 1,000 hand-rolling Virginia Brights at their Richmond warehouses. Work for women on the baseball diamond was still far far in the future.