Press Release: MUSEUM AT ELDRIDGE STREET PRESENTS A NEW EXHIBITION: On the Lower East Side: 28 Remarkable Women…and One Scoundrel Opening Sunday, December 3, 2023


On the Lower East Side:

28 Remarkable Womenand One Scoundrel

Opening Sunday, December 3, 2023

New York, NY, November 20, 2023 – The Museum at Eldridge Street is proud to present a new exhibition: On the Lower East Side: 28 Remarkable Women…and One Scoundrel. The exhibition features 29 different women who lived or worked on the Lower East Side of New York at the turn of the twentieth century. Their mixed media portraits by artist Adrienne Ottenberg incorporate maps of the Lower East Side neighborhood and are printed on silk or cotton banners that will be hung throughout the Museum’s gallery and historic sanctuary. Stories about the women highlight the work, life, and impact they made culturally, on social justice movements, and more. The exhibition will be on view December 3, 2023 through May 5, 2024. 

“I’m pleased to present this new exhibition spotlighting Lower East Side women who have left a lasting legacy,” said Museum at Eldridge Street Curator Nancy Johnson. “Adrienne Emma Goldman, Molly Picon, and Dora Welfowitz. Artwork by Adrienne Ottenberg. 

Ottenberg’s portraits bring the often-overlooked narratives of these compelling women to life, bringing their stories back to the streets they once walked, and offering a powerful journey into our shared heritage.”

Those featured in the exhibition include political activist Frances Perkins, who upon witnessing the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, took on an influential role in the worker’s rights advocacy movement, which led her to eventually become President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor—the first ever woman cabinet member; suffragette and activist Mabel Ping-Hua Lee who campaigned for women’s rights to vote and was the first Chinese woman in the United States to earn her doctorate; and public healthcare worker Elizabeth Tyler, who was the first Black nurse hired at Henry Street Settlement, and went on later to establish the Stillman House Settlement on Manhattan’s West Side, which provided health care and social services to the Black community in San Juan Hill. The show will be accompanied by an audio guide in which 29 people–Eldridge docents, staffers, the artist, and descendants of the historic women–speak the parts of those portrayed in the show.

“The unintended consequences of this nineteenth-century neighborhood mix of cultures and languages and poverty and reinvention was a Lower East Side that let loose new American ideas about education, equality, and justice,” said artist Adrienne Ottenberg. “It was a place women could step into a larger role for the people around them, and they did not ask permission to do it.”

During the run of the exhibition, the Museum at Eldridge Street will offer a series of related public programs. There will be an exhibition opening reception on Sunday, December 3, 2023 from 3PM – 5PM. Visit the Museum’s website at for updates and information on additional programs and events. For more information about On the Lower East Side: 28 Remarkable Womenand One Scoundrel, please visit the Museum’s website at

Adrienne Ottenberg lives and works in New York City. Her work combines traditional drawing and painting with digital media. After many years doing editorial and book illustration, she found herself creating maps, and subsequently earned an MA in geography at CUNY to learn computer mapping. She has illustrated more than a dozen books, created frontispiece maps and endpapers, and created illustrated maps for gallery shows. She is inspired by historical maps and how we each create and bring meaning to the map of our own lives.

On the Lower East Side: 28 Remarkable Women…and One Scoundrel and related programs at the Museum at Eldridge Street are made possible, in part, by the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.


Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a magnificent National Historic Landmark that has been meticulously restored. Opened in 1887, the synagogue is the first great house of worship built in the United States by Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Today, it is the only remaining marker of the great wave of Jewish migration to the Lower East Side that is open to a broad public who wishes to visit Jewish New York.

Exhibits, tours, public programs, and education tell the story of Jewish immigrant life, explore architecture and historic preservation, inspire reflection on cultural continuity, and foster collaboration and exchange between people of all faiths, heritages, and interests.

Museum at Eldridge Street

12 Eldridge Street (between Canal and Division Streets)

New York, NY 10002



Sunday – Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM

Saturday, Closed

Admission on Monday & Friday is pay-what-you-wish