The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which granted women the right to vote—although many voting struggles persisted for minority groups. The long road to women’s suffrage, spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, 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.
The Brandywine River Museum of Art, located just a short drive from Wilmington, Delaware in nearby Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is celebrating this momentous anniversary with two exciting exhibitions focusing on voting rights in the twentieth century. Although the Nineteenth Amendment granted women the right to vote, it wasn't until decades later that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally enabled all citizens to vote regardless of race.
Votes For Women: A Visual History
February 1 - June 7, 2020
The long road to women’s suffrage, spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, played out very differently from political movements today. In the absence of televised and digital media, the suffragists spread their message through a variety of visual means.
This once-in-a-generation exhibition examines the visual culture of the suffrage movement, revealing how the “look” of women’s rights developed and the important visual strategies that propelled the campaign.
Witness to History: Selma Photography of Stephen Somerstein
February 1 - June 14, 2020
The historic 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, civil rights marches concerned one issue—the right to vote. This exhibition presents 55 of the photographs taken by Stephen Somerstein, a 24-year-old City College of New York student photographer, on March 25, 1965.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed a vast rapt audience of 25,000 marchers on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol building, he delivered his now famous “How Long? Not Long” speech. The iconic portrait Somerstein took of Dr. King was re-imagined for the Selma (2014) film poster. Less than five months later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which aimed at preventing state and local level discrimination against African Americans exercising their right to vote, as granted in both the 15th and 19th Amendments.
The Brandywine River Museum of Art presents and collects historic and contemporary works of American art, engaging and exciting visitors of all ages through an array of exhibitions and programs. The museum may best be know for its extensive collection from three generations of the Wyeth family - NC, Andrew and Jamie. Find out more at www.brandywine.org.