OF NEW THINGS

This series is entitled "of New Things." They are paintings of industrial objects and landscapes interspersed with portraits of the immigrants who came to populate them. Rerum Novarum - literally, "Of New Things," is an 1891 papal encyclical, or worldwide letter to Roman Catholic Bishops, of Pope Leo XIII stating that workers, as people of God, had a moral right to a living wage and a voice in the workplace. It was the first time the Vatican had come out on the side of labor movement's aspirations and had considerable influence on the way U.S. Catholic bishops--a large portion of whose dioceses abounded in Irish, Polish, German, and Italian immigrant workers--addressed the issue from that time on. --"The Lexicon of Labor," R. Emmett Murray