Votes for Women:
A Portrait of Persistence
Opens October 1, 2020
Ruth Carlson Horn Gallery
Celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage in the U.S. with Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence!
The story of women’s suffrage is a story of voting rights, of inclusion in and exclusion from the franchise, and of our civic development as a nation. Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, a poster exhibition from the Smithsonian, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment and explores the complexity of the women’s suffrage movement and the relevance of this history to Americans’ lives today. The crusade for women’s suffrage is one of the longest reform movements in American history. Between 1832 and 1920, women citizens organized for the right to vote, agitating first in their states or territories and also, simultaneously, through petitioning for a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Based on the National Portrait Gallery exhibition of the same name, Votes for Women seeks to expand visitors’ understanding of the suffrage movement in the United States. The poster exhibition addresses women’s political activism, explores the racism that challenged universal suffrage, and documents the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment which prohibits the government from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote on th e basis of gender. It also touches upon the suffrage movement’s relevance to current conversations on voting and voting rights across America.
“Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative. The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, is one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document display and share the compelling story of women. It will deepen our understanding of women’s contributions to the nation and the world.
Floral Expressions: 200 Years of Women’s Power Through Fashion
Throughout history, our culture’s social movements, developing technologies, and evolving artistries have influenced the way people style themselves for the outside world. In this exhibition, explore wider historical and social trends over a 200-year period through iconic floral and botanical-inspired dresses from the Fairfield Museum’s collection. Enjoy the beauty in these remarkable costumes, demonstrating the elaborate and ancient crafts of applique, weaving, printing, and embroidery. These examples and their design techniques demonstrate the sensibilities of their eras, often showing the turning of social tides – such as the wild and bold patterns of the Swingin’ Sixties, the decadent elegance of 19th-century Victorians, or the soft naturalism of the late 18th-century. Special thanks to Chris Nevins and Kathy Craughwell-Varda.
Jennings Beach, Fairfield, Day to Night
On permanent display in Creating Community
Stephen Wilkes of Westport is renowned for his amazing Day to Night series, in which he shoots breathtaking iconic landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours, to capture fleeting moments over the course of a full day to night. Fairfield’s Jennings Beach has now joined Stephen Wilkes’ Day to Night portfolio from around the world. Jennings Beach, Fairfield, Day to Night has been generously commissioned and donated to the Fairfield Museum by the Saft family in memory of Marcia Saft, a former Board member, friend and longtime supporter of the Fairfield Museum. Limited edition fine art prints are available exclusively at the Museum Shop.
Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past | Ongoing
This hands-on exhibition invites visitors to explore the history of Fairfield and its region over the past four centuries. Look inside a Native American wigwam, climb into an American Revolution fort, decipher a spy code, and look through the windows of a trolley. Young and old alike will enjoy learning how people worked, lived, and built communities over time by exploring original objects, individual stories, and engaging activities. Sponsored by CT Humanities, Fairfield County Community Foundation, The Perry Family and Southport Area Association.
Gustave Whitehead: First to Fly
On view in the Tulloch Library Gallery
Gustave Whitehead was the first to fly a powered airplane, although his flights in Fairfield and Stratford in 1901 and 1902 are not nearly as well-known throughout the world as the Wright brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. This mini-exhibition in the library foyer displays items from the museum’s William O’Dwyer/Gustave Whitehead Research Collection, which is available for research in the library. More information about Gustave Whitehead is available here.