Amanda C. Burdan

Curator, The Brandywine River Museum of Art
Headshot of a woman.

Transcript available soon.

Many women won a political victory 100 years ago with the passage of the 19th amendment which declares that the right of citizens to vote "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.". The Brandywine Museum of Art is commemorating its passage and the long struggle leading to it with the exhibit Votes for Women: A Visual History funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Votes for Women shines a spotlight on the movement with over 200 hundred objects including drawings, illustrations as well as historic photographs of marches and rallies and examples of clothing and sashes worn by the suffragists. Significantly, Votes for Women works against what had been a dominant narrative: that the suffrage movement had been mainly white. It recognizes both the critical efforts of women of color and their community networks and the inability of the 19th to guarantee access to the ballot to women of color—primarily but not exclusively in the Jim Crow south. A companion exhibition Witness to History ”continues the story of the ongoing struggles marginalized communities faced when voting following the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment” featuring 55 photographs taken during the historic 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Curator Amanda Burdan talks about creating an inclusive exhibit about suffrage, its challenges and rewards, as well as the determination, political sophistication and publicity savvy of the suffragists.