September Women’s Roundtable Celebrates 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Mr. President How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty, 1917. Glass plate negative, Library of Congress, Harris & Ewing Collection.

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. The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce’s September Women’s Roundtable, sponsored by Miles Financial Management, Inc., will dissect and celebrate the women’s suffrage campaign with the help of Brandywine River Museum of Art curator, Amanda Burdan, on Wednesday, September 9th at 7 p.m.

In 1920, in a day and age without television or digital media, suffragists had to get creative to have their voices heard. Dedicated women across the country spread their unified 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 special Women’s Roundtable presentation will feature five objects currently on display in the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s exhibition Votes for Women: A Virtual History revealing how the “look” of women’s rights developed and the important visual strategies that propelled the campaign. Curator Amanda Burdan will address several overarching themes related to the visual aspects of the movement, including: how women’s personal presentation, or how they “dressed to express,” united them in their cause; the struggle to make themselves visible in American culture, which led women to write and perform in street rallies, silent films, and suffrage plays; the marketing of women’s rights, particularly how the larger suffrage organizations made their targeted arguments through visual media; and how the anti-suffrage movement used visual marketing – often through parody and satire – to promote their campaign.

The visual lessons of the suffrage movement provided a model for later activism, including the civil rights and social justice movements up to present day, making this not just a centennial celebration, but a window into contemporary visual discourse.

“We are thrilled to sponsor such a unique and relevant Women’s Roundtable presentation,” said Melissa Hawes founder of Miles Financial Management, Inc. “In a time where the right to vote is so important, it will be exciting to examine how far we have come as women and as a country.”

This Women’s Roundtable will be held online via Zoom. Tickets are $25 each. Click here for more information and to register today: https://bit.ly/2CC7KWi