These 10 gouache and india ink paintings took 9 months to execute and depict women at work and play.
This show was the first one woman show Ms. Curtis designed. The ten gouache and India ink paintings examined women at work and play. Beside these works were quotes from women about their struggles balancing motherhood and meaningful work. Ms. Curtis had three children at the time.
“…that only at sacrificing their best work can they bear and rear children…” – Web Du Bois
Curtis goes further with her premise and suggests that there are political reasons for keeping one half of the population in a serving position.
“…no one’s fullness of being at the cost of another’s.” – Tillie Olsen.
“It is urgent to understand how the very condition of being a housewife can create a sense of emptiness, non-existence, nothingness in women. There are aspects of the housewife role that make it almost impossible for a woman of adult intelligence to retain a sense of human identity, the firm core of self or “i” without which a a human being, man or woman, is not truly alive. For women of ability, in America today, I am convinced that there is something about the housewife state itself that is dangerous.” – Bell Hooks
She herself has experienced the “sense of emptiness” caused by being unable to make time for the art making that keeps her alive and whole. Her depressing implication is that only in heaven will this be possible with a Teaparty for Angels. However, the successful mounting of this show, which sold out and led to others, was the first step for Curtis toward a different road.