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(Anti)SUFFRAGE

Introduction

(Anti)SUFFRAGE presents a selection of rare books, broadsides, photographs, and artwork that looks at how the suffrage movement contributed to redesigning women’s roles and responsibilities in society from varied perspectives as they vied for equality.

Occasioned by the centennial of the US Constitution's 19th Amendment, which prohibits voting rights from being denied or limited on account of sex, the exhibition presents the complexities of the struggle to secure and protect those rights for women and people of color in the past and today.

The selected objects form a fraction of the Athenӕum’s extensive collections, including substantial documentation of the history of American social movements. The Boston Athenӕum seeks to cultivate an appreciation for the richness of material culture, to foster a deeper understanding of history, and to spark conversations of critical importance.

(Anti)SUFFRAGE was curated by Theo Tyson, Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture. The items in this online exhibition were originally on view in the Athenӕum’s Henry Long Room from November 1, 2019 to March 13, 2020, or in the Athenӕum’s fall 2019 Eye of the Expert program (presented by Theo Tyson, Events Manager Elsa Fogg Vernon, and Rare Materials Catalog Librarian Kaelin Rasmussen).