For as long as there has
been a United States, American women have organized to shape the nation’s politics
and to secure their rights as citizens. Their collective action has taken many
forms: from abolitionist petitioning to industry-wide garment strikes to massive
marches for an Equal Rights Amendment.
Yet too often, the significance of this work is eclipsed by more famous leaders who are credited with galvanizing movements. In celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in 1920, this exhibition explores the efforts of a diverse array of women to expand and give substantive meaning to American democracy in the centuries both before and after the suffrage victory.