Seeing Citizens: Picturing American Women’s Fight for the Vote


Thursday, May 14, 2020, 9:00am to 5:00pm


The Lia and William Poorvu Gallery, Schlesinger Library 3 James Street Cambridge, MA 02138


In response to decades of sexist pictures, suffragists constructed a visual vocabulary that challenged ideas of women’s place in society, expanded notions of citizenship, and laid the foundation for modern media politics. This exhibition presents the images that leading activists wanted the public to see—and some that they wanted to hide. White suffragists portrayed themselves as elite, educated, and moral women. Some aspects of their campaign assured skeptics that the amendment would preserve white supremacy and pose no challenges to the disfranchisement strategies which affected black women and men alike in the Jim Crow South. Lacking funds and support from the white-dominated press, suffragists of color typically employed images on a smaller scale. Their pictures are less familiar but no less powerful. They demonstrate the movement’s breadth, emphasis, and savvy for visual politics.


More Information Here

See also: Harvard