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narrow down the quotes to make them representative of periods and men, women. I had to then go over the quotes with a number of people to say, “Are they the kind of quotes that an artist can work with?” Some quotes they said, “That's a good quote but it's nothing from nothing.” So we wandered around and finally narrowed it down to thirty-two. It was very hard for me to throw out certain quotes, you know.


What was your favorite one you can remember?


I'd have to look through at this stage of the game.

I also had a guideline. I wanted it to be the kind of thing that could move in the main stream of the labor movement, and yet I didn't want it to be a lowest common denominator that had to satisfy everybody in the labor movement. So that when I found a quote by Woody Guthrie - - I forget, someone had mentioned it to me -- I said, “It's a great quote.” I showed it to some of the artists who were advising and they said, “That's a wonderful thing.” Pam, who is a remarkably gifted person and very funny person, who later on sent me a note when the whole project was over, she sent me a gift and she said, “I want to thank you. This was the most enjoyable and exciting experience in my whole life, to work on this project with you.” We got to know a lot of people. Esther Cohen at Pilgrim became very good friends as a result of this. Other people, who became involved in this.

But anyway, so we picked the quotations. Then it became a problem of how do you match an artist to a quote? Pam was able to do that. Then the question came up, “Do you give an artist a quote?” You're doing something --



The idea of getting an artist to agree to do a painting based upon a quotation is most unusual. Artists will normally say, “Screw you, I don't work that way.” You know, it goes against the whole art experience. But virtually all the people involved were people who were sympathetic to the idea, and agreed to do it. So then the question came up of matching the quotation to the artist. Pam was able to do this. Who would be best for this and who would be best for that, you know, because of the kind of work they do. So we parceled them out. We had no one, only one case where an artist called up and said, “I don't want to do the quote.” That was the, from Rochester. She did the theme for The Working American. I forget her name. Honore' Sharrer. She's a very fine artist. We gave her the George Meeny quote, and she said, “I don't want to do it.” [laughs] You know, I had

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