A traveling exhibit focusing on the history of the women’s suffrage movement in Kansas will come to Pittsburg State University just a few days after the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
The exhibit, built as a seven-panel "mobile museum," will be displayed in the Bicknell Art Gallery inside the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts from Aug. 31 through Sept. 4. Visitors may view it there from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or may make an appointment with Client Services & Gallery Coordinator Shawna Witherspoon.
It then will then go to the Leonard H. Axe Library at PSU from Sept. 4 through Sept. 11. Visitors may view the display on the first floor on Sunday from noon to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is closed on Saturday.
Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Kansas and its Centennial Celebration Committee, the exhibit allows visitors to explore the theme "Learning from the Past, Imagining the Future." It will visit towns throughout the state over the next 14 months.
The exhibit’s panels feature some of the historic women who led the women’s right to vote movement in the early 20th Century.
Beginning with Clarina Nichols in the late 1800s, women in Kansas fought for decades to ensure their inclusion in civic life. Kansas was on the leading edge, as women could vote in all elections in Kansas starting in 1912 — eight years before the 19th Amendment extended that right to the rest of the country.
The exhibit also traces the history following 1920, including the influence of Black and Native American women, who had an integral part in the process, even as the right to vote didn’t include them until much later.
The exhibit’s final panel issues a call to action to vote in every election.
Founded as a direct result of the women’s suffrage movement, the League of Women Voters also celebrates a birthday in 2020.
The exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, the Kansas Health Foundation, and Humanities Kansas. Kansas-owned businesses, universities, and individuals also helped make the exhibit possible.