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Wednesday, September 09, 2020Special Event

Votes for Women: A Visual History

Votes for Women: A Visual History

 Join us for this special once-in-a-lifetime Women's Roundtable experience!


At this Women's Roundtable, sponsored by Miles Financial Management, Inc., we are talking about women's suffrage. 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 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, film, and even through fashion—all in an effort to make themselves and their campaign more visible. 


This talk presents five objects currently on view in the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s exhibition Votes for Women: A Visual History revealing how the “look” of women’s rights developed and the important visual strategies that propelled the campaign. Several overarching themes related to the visual aspects of the movement emerge. Women’s personal presentation, or how they “dressed to express,” united them in their cause. The struggle to make themselves visible in American culture often involved performance, whether in a street rally, a silent film, or popular suffrage plays. The marketing of women’s right will be addressed, particularly how the larger suffrage organizations made their targeted arguments through visual media. Finally, the anti-suffrage movement and their visual marketing—often through parody and satire—are also a part of the visual world of the early twentieth century. The visual lessons of the suffrage movement provided a model for later activism, including the civil rights and social justice movements up to the present day, making this not just a centennial celebration, but a window into contemporary visual discourse.


So grab a glass of wine, and join us for this extraordinary presentation on women's rights.



About the speaker 



Amanda C. Burdan, Ph.D.


Brandywine River Museum of Art



A specialist in American art, Amanda Burdan has organized many exhibitions on the fine and decorative arts of the United States. Her 2016 exhibition Rural Modern: American Art Beyond the City, which traveled to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, examined the transfer of modernist styles across the American continent. Her continued interest in the transatlantic influences on American art inform her forthcoming exhibition and catalogue America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution, which will open at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, in Memphis, Tennessee, in January before traveling to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and finally to the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford. Her current exhibition project is Votes for Women: A Visual History, a major exhibition commemorating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment by examining the visual culture of the suffrage movement in the United States. The exhibition is currently on view at the Brandywine, closing in September of this year. 


Amanda C. Burdan joined the curatorial staff of the Brandywine River Museum of Art in 2012. She previously worked in the curatorial departments at the Florence Griswold Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art. She earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. at Brown University, writing a dissertation entitled “Américaines in Paris: The Role of Women Artists in the Formation of America’s Cultural Identity, 1860-1880.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 7:00 PM thru 09:00 PM
Zoom (link upon registration)

Admission $25

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