Lucy Burns Museum at the Lorton Workhouse Prison
CLIENT Lorton Workhouse Prison
LOCATION Lorton, VA
Created by Theodore Roosevelt as a progressive model for incarceration, this prison site is now a working arts center and home to the Lucy Burns Museum, where a former cell block will be transformed into a venue for interpreting the long history of Lorton Prison. Due to its proximity to DC, the prison has hosted Vietnam War protestors and Civil Rights Movement activists, but most notably, the “Silent Sentinels,” a group of women who in 1919 picketed the White House and thereby brought about passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. To tell the story, H+R will create three heroic statues of the leaders of the effort, all of whom were tortured and force-fed during their imprisonment. These will be displayed behind prison bars featuring small portraits of all 72 women incarcerated here as political prisoners. At the end of the exhibit, visitors don a suffragist sash and can take a photo of themselves standing in solidarity with the women who succeeded in securing women’s suffrage.