Local Art Exhibition Honors Suffragettes

Local Art Exhibition Honors Suffragettes

Kelli Knobloch, Features Reporter

The Winona County Historical Society showcases two new exhibitions to celebrate the hundred-year anniversary of white women fighting for the right to vote.

The first exhibition is called “Votes For Women: A Portrait of Persistence” and is a poster board exhibition that comes from the Smithsonian Institution.

The second exhibition is called “A Century of Civic Engagement: League of Women Voters Minnesota” which was put together by the League of Women Voters Minnesota.

This exhibition aims to share the story of the women in Minnesota who contributed to gaining the right to vote while also discussing the League of Women Voters Minnesota as it stands today.

Jennifer Weaver, the museum educator, was the one to put the exhibitions together to celebrate the anniversary.

“The poster board exhibit gives an insight on the larger national history of women suffrage as well as for others such as African-Americans and Native-Americans,” Weaver said.

The exhibition explores a few women and their fight of making it legal for women to vote by showing their portraits and giving a background on what they accomplished.

“The other exhibit talks about the League of Women Voters Minnesota,” Weaver said. “It mostly talks about the league in the state and about their work and those that are associated with it.”

The exhibition goes more into depth about what exactly the league did to fight for the right to vote and what it is currently doing now.

Payton Portugue, a third-year education major, was at the exhibition.

“I love history and to learn more on how women in Minnesota fought for the right to vote is inspiring,” Portugue said. “It’s an important topic to learn about especially as it is an election year.”

Weaver said the exhibitions are being showcased now because of how timely it is to celebrate the anniversary. Later in the year, another exhibition, “Vote For Quilts”, will be joining them.

“The exhibits are great, and I learned a lot, but I would also like to get a more in-depth look on the overall history” Portugue said.

Similarily, History.com created a timeline to also celebrate the anniversary called “19th Amendment: A Timeline of the Fight For All Women’s Right to Vote” which is where all the following information comes from.

On May 21, 1919 the House of Representatives passed the 19th Amendment and the Senate followed suit on June 4, 1919.

After that, the Amendment required thirty-six states to ratify it, which means it was left up to each state individually to sign it or not.

The Minnesota Legislature voted yes on Sept. 8, 1919 to ratify the 19th Amendment but the Amendment still needed more votes.

It was not until Aug. 18, 1920 that the 19th Amendment was ratified, which meant after seventy-two years, white women finally gained the right to vote.

“It’s important to know where we come from and to see what others before us have done,” Weaver said. “If you’re interested in this time of history come join us and have a look.”

The exhibitions are free to the public and located in the lobby of the Winona County Historical Society and will be there through Dec. 31.


The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.