EXHIBITION AND PROGRAM SERIES HONORING THE CENTENNIAL OF THE 19TH AMENDMENTWomen of the Nation Arise! will present Staten Island’s unique place in the history of the suffrage movement by recounting stories of local suffragists, their contributions to the national effort, and the tactics they employed to win the vote. The exhibition will connect visitors to the history of earning women’s right to vote, as well as the relevance to present-day considerations of civic engagement and voter participation.
Staten Island’s role in the fight for women’s political equality was both innovative on a national level and uniquely suited to the community from which it came. Visitors will learn about the tactics suffragists employed to bring attention and garner support for the movement, including a radical act by Rosalie Gardiner Jones (pictured left), who became the first suffragist to fly for the cause when she dropped ‘votes for women’ leaflets from a bi-plane over Staten Island in 1913. Highlighted in the exhibition will be Drusilla Poole (pictured right), a prominent reform activist who formed an organization to encourage and instruct African-American women about civic engagement, and the ardent suffrage activist Reverend Florence Spearing Randolph of Rossville AME Zion Church. The exhibition will explore the intersection of race, class, and gender in the Suffrage Era, as well as racism and exclusion within the Suffrage Movement. Despite their ingenuity and dedicated involvement in the New York State Women’s Suffrage Party, the stories of Staten Island Suffragists are lesser known and this exhibition brings them to light.
Women of the Nation Arise! has been in development for more than three years with research spearheaded by the Museum’s archives manager Gabriella Leone, drawing upon the Museum’s collections, original research, and loaned items from Historic Richmond Town and other repositories. This exhibition ties to the Staten Island Museum’s institutional history since Museum Founder Arthur Hollick and his wife Adeline were active Suffragists and collected related periodicals at the time for the Museum’s collection. The Woman Voter and The Suffragist have been digitized and made publicly available online: https://archive.org/details/statenislandmuseum.
March 6, 7pm - 9pm
Public Opening and Reception
Saturday, March 7, 2pm - 4pm
FREE with Museum Admission
Join us for an opening reception with light refreshments, family art, register to vote, and more!
Family Art Workshop: Voting Rocks!
Saturday, March 7, 1pm - 3pm
FREE with Museum Admission
Make an impact, get creative, and inspire those around you to exercize their voice and rock the vote. Paint a lively design of your own, or gain inspiration from the poems, phrases ,and mottos that won women the right to vote.
International Women's Day
Sunday, March 8
FREE Admission All Day
Bird Walk: 10am
Exhibition Tour: 11pm
Move Forward Staten Island and the Feminist Bird Club for a guided bird walk on the grounds of Snug Harbor followed by a tour of the exhibition. Please meet in front of the Staten Island Museum, Building A at Snug Harbor.
Panel Discussion: Perspectives on the Suffrage Centennial
Sunday, March 22, 2pm - 3:30pm
Free with Museum Admission
Hear firsthand from the scholars and experts who advised on the exhibition. This program is funded by a planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
Exhibition Advisory Panel:
Susan Goodier is a Lecturer of History at SUNY Oneonta and specializes in U.S. Public Policy History, International Gender and Culture, and Black Women’s History. She is the author of No Votes for Women: The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement and co-author with Karen Pastorello of Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State.
Catherine Gray is Co-President of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York since 2016 after being a member for more than a decade. She is retired from her job as a librarian with Brooklyn Public Library for over thirty years.
Sarah Litvin is Director of the Reher Center for Immigrant History and Culture, a new museum and center for civic engagement in Kingston, New York. Sarah was formerly on the curatorial team of the New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History. She completed her PhD in U.S. women’s history in 2019 with a dissertation focused on how women used the upright parlor piano to pursue their far-flung ambitions and expand women’s roles at the turn of the twentieth century.
Margaret Middleton is a designer and developer of exhibitions and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She is passionate about the intersection of museum work and social justice movements. She has received a number of awards for excellence and diversity.
Debbie-Ann Paige is a public historian specializing in African American history, co-president of the newly chartered Richard B. Dickenson Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAGHS) and professional genealogist.
This Exhibition is made possible with lead support from Con Edison and by individual donors. Staten Island Museum is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and public funds provided through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.