There’s no shortage of exhibits taking place in Philly for Women’s History Month.
Touring around Philadelphia it’s pretty standard practice to hear about the struggles of our Founding Fathers. But what about the women who built the nation along with them? Or the suffragists who fought for their right to vote? March is now in full swing and it’s time for us to celebrate women’s history! One of the best ways is by checking out one of the many awesome exhibitions taking place throughout the city this month.
Check them out!
1. Queens, Warriors & Archaeologists, Penn Museum
When: Friday, March 5; Saturday, March 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Explore the women’s side of archeological history with this special virtual tour of the Penn Museum. Queens, Warriors & Archaeologists explores ways of finding women through archaeology and history (a group often underrepresented in these fields) by tracing the stories of “famous and not-so-famous women in the Penn Museum, as well as tales of adventurous female archaeologists who have excavated ancient sites and translated undeciphered scripts.”
Since the event is also BYOB, Penn Museum is also encouraging attendees to order food and drinks to enjoy during the program from women-owned local businesses like Triple Bottom Brewing, Franny Lou’s Porch and Jezebel’s Argentine Café & Bakery, among many others. Tickets to the virtual tour are $10 and can be booked online.
2. Raising Their Voices for Women’s Suffrage, Independence Visitor Center
When: Through Wednesday, March 31.
This temporary exhibit at Independence Visitor Center zooms in on the suffragist movement and all the activities (rallies, protests and celebrations) that took place on Independence Square, including the unchaining of the Women’s Liberty Bell (also known as the Justice Bell, scroll to number 8 to learn more) in September 1920. The center opens every day at 9 a.m. and Raising their Voices is completely free to visit!
3. Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)
When: Through Sunday, September 5, 2021
Taking Space invites visitors to consider how women artists make space for themselves and for their work within the art world and how important size and repetition can be in the work of many women artists. Featuring works from over 50 artists, the exhibit is the first of three to take place at PAFA in 2020 and 2021 celebrating women artists in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
4. The 19th Amendment: When Women Won the Vote, National Constitution Center
When: Monday, March 1, through Wednesday, March 31.
At the National Constitution Center’s The 19th Amendment exhibit you’ll be able to trace the triumphs and struggles that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and learn more about some of the many women who transformed constitutional history as you browse through nearly 100 artifacts of the suffrage movement such as a printing of the Declaration of Sentiments from the first women’s convention at Seneca Falls, a ballot box used to collect women’s votes in the late 1800s and Pennsylvania’s ratification copy of the 19th Amendment.
5. Votes for Women: A Visual History Interactive Tour, Brandywine River Museum of Art
How did the suffragists turn their movement into a viral, nation-wide one before the era of digital media? Take a look at Brandywine River Museum’s virtual exhibit Votes for Women and learn more about the visual culture of the suffrage movement and how the “look” of women’s rights developed. The exhibit particularly focuses on the efforts of women of color who have been largely overlooked by history, but who continued to fight for their rights even after the 19th amendment became a reality.
6. When Women Lost the Vote, Museum of the American Revolution
When: Through Sunday, April 25.
Did you know that when America first became a nation women were allowed to vote but 30 years later that right got stripped away from them? This exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution explores the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters and how political struggles led to us losing our right to vote in an exhibition like never before.
7. Women of Change, Women of Protest, Liberty Bell Center
When: Through Wednesday, March 31.
Take a good look at pictures of suffragists like Alice Paul and Ida B. Wells-Barnett at this temporary exhibit that explores the decades-long struggle for women’s voting rights and discover the story behind the Women’s Liberty Bell — a symbol that traveled around the state and nation in the fight for voting rights.
8. Justice Bell at Valley Forge National Historical Park
Head on over to Valley Forge and take a look at the real Women’s Liberty Bell, popularly known nowadays as the Justice Bell. Commissioned by Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger in 1915, this 2,000-pound replica of the Liberty Bell toured the state in 1915 ahead of the state referendum on women’s suffrage to connect the cause to the struggle of the Founding Fathers. The referendum may have failed but Ruschenberger’s bell soon became an icon of the suffragist movement in the United States.
[Featured image courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution]