New exhibit on American workers makes us think: Why do we work?

Rex Huppke

We all work, but we rarely take time to think about what a job means, how it shapes our identity and what it is, specifically, about what we do that matters in the grand scheme of things.

“So much of our life is defined by work,” said Jane Saks, president and artistic director of Project&, the group that created the exhibit. “It’s not just monetary. It’s not just skill or talent. It has so much to do with self and identity.”

The exhibit was inspired by Terkel’s classic book “Working,” a collection of interviews with working Americans. As you walk past the stunning photographs, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario, you are given only general descriptions of each person: a name, a job title, where the person lives.