Exhibition | Votes for Women: A Visual History
February 11 @ 9:30 am - June 7 @ 4:00 pm$18
The long road to women’s suffrage played out very differently from political movements today. In the absence of televised and digital media, the suffragists spread their message through magazines, political cartoons, posters, plays, parades, and even through fashion. This exhibition examines the visual culture of the suffrage movement, revealing how the “look” of women’s rights developed along with the important visual strategies that propelled the campaign.
Votes for Women: A Visual History includes drawings, illustrations and posters from museums, historical societies, and private collections that visualize the complex political messages conveyed by suffragists. Also included are historic photographs of marches and rallies, including the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Procession in Washington D.C., as well as examples of the costumes, clothing, sashes and other emblems of women’s activism worn by suffragists.
Presenting an inclusive historical narrative, the exhibition recognizes the efforts of women of color and their community networks, which have been largely overlooked, giving the false impression that women of color were absent from the struggle for voting rights. As a way to recognize these marginalized communities, the Brandywine commissioned a diverse group of women artists to create a mural of illustrated portraits featuring some of the women whose role in winning voting rights has been historically minimized because of their race or ethnicity.
As Votes for Women illustrates, the visual lessons of the suffrage movement provided a model for later activism, including the civil rights and social justice movements up to the present day, making this not just a centennial commemoration, but a window into contemporary discourse.
The museum is open Wednesday–Monday, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.