State Museum Exhibits Special Installations in Honor of Women's History Month and the Centennial Passage of the 19th Amendment
The New York State Museum will exhibit three special installations in honor of Women’s History Month and the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which ended the exclusion of voters on the basis of sex. Open March 10 through April 26 the Museum will exhibit the 2020 Quilt Project, the Central Park Women’s Monument maquette, and a 1913 suffrage wagon.
“In March we celebrate Women’s History Month and this year we also we commemorate the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “This exhibition is a learning opportunity for all of us, especially our children and students, to appreciate the immense contributions that women and men before us have made to champion women’s rights. We continue that advocacy and work today as we work toward equity and opportunity for all.”
“We’re honored to open this special exhibition that highlights significant achievements for women’s rights,” said Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe. “We hope the thousands of visitors to the Museum will view these unique artifacts and reflect on our ancestors’ fight for equal rights – an extraordinary effort that continues to today.”
The 2020 Quilt Project is a collaborative textile art project initiated by the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester, New York. The 2020 Quilt celebrates the achievements women have made in fighting for equal rights, but also addresses “unfinished business,” or rights yet to be won. Fabric arts, traditionally seen as a women’s activity, have a long history of being used to protest.
The Central Park Women’s Monument maquette is the first version of a model for a statue that is scheduled to be unveiled in New York City’s Central Park on August 26, 2020. Women’s rights activists Pam Elam and Coline Jenkins formed the Statue Fund to create the first statue in Central Park that both honors and depicts real women. Sculptor Meredith Bergmann’s design was chosen out of 91 entries. The final design represents three major leaders in 19th-century women’s rights movement: Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.
The centerpiece of the main lobby exhibit is a large wooden wagon that was once covered in suffrage banners and hand-painted signs as suffrage activists used the wagon as both a prop and a speaker’s platform between 1913 and 1917, when New York State awarded women the vote. This suffrage wagon is part of the Museum’s permanent collection.
These special installations honor the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, which ended the exclusion of voters on the basis of sex. In 1917 New York State granted women the right to vote, helping to shift the national conversation toward passage of the Amendment. New York-based suffragists played an important role in the national fight for women’s suffrage.
The public is invited to attend a reception on Saturday, March 28 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm celebrating the 2020 Quilt Project. Visitors can enjoy light refreshments followed by a talk by State Museum curator and historian Ashley Hopkins-Benton at 2:00 pm.
The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Admission is free. Further information about programs and events can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website.