Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence
The Vernon County Museum is currently hosting Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, a poster exhibition from the Smithsonian. This exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and explores the complexity of the women's suffrage movement and the relevance of this history to Americans' lives today.
The crusade for women's suffrage is one of the longest reform movements in American history. Between 1832 and 1920, women citizens organized for the right to vote, agitating first in their states or territories and then, simultaneously, through petitioning for a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Based on the National Portrait Gallery exhibition of the same name, Votes for Women seeks to expand visitors’ understanding of the suffrage movement in the United States.
The poster exhibition addresses women's political activism, explores the racism that challenged universal suffrage, and documents the ratification of the 19th Amendment which prohibits the government from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. It also touches upon the suffrage movement's relevance to current conversations on voting and voting rights across America.
Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.
The Vernon County Museum is also currently hosting a new pop-up exhibition from the National Archives, Rightfully Hers. This exhibition contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th amendment, women’s voting rights before and after the 19th, and its impact today.
Despite decades of marches, petitions, and public debate to enshrine a woman’s right to vote in the constitution, the 19th Amendment – while an enormous milestone – did not grant voting rights for all. The challenges of its passage reverberate to the ongoing fight for gender equity today.
Rightfully Hers is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives has launched a nationwide initiative and major exhibition that explores the generations-long fight for universal woman suffrage.
The exhibition is presented in part by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, and Denise Gwyn Ferguson.