Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Illuminating the seventy-year struggle for women’s suffrage—the largest reform movement in U.S. history—through artifacts, documents, and items from the personal collections of the suffragists who championed equality.

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When first entering the exhibit, visitors are confronted by tall, looming walls—representing the social-structural barriers that suffragists encountered—and a film that features women speaking about the struggle to secure the right to vote as part of a larger project to achieve equality. The walls along both sides of the gallery define a “street” that cuts through the exhibition. As visitors continue to walk through the exhibition and the chronological narrative advances, the walls shorten to reflect their victories. Eventually the walls open out into a large plaza in the back of the gallery. Here, a wall displays the Nineteenth Amendment and a video that showcases the accomplishments of women in politics and civic society.

loc.gov/exhibitions/women-fight-for-the-vote

I served as a senior designer and project manager for this project at Pure+Applied.

The exhibition’s central, “public” pathway showcases the activities that suffragists carried out in the public sphere.

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Recessed alcoves within the walled areas are carved out as spaces that address the private sphere of the movement.

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The walls of the exhibition gradually taper down until they open out into a large plaza that symbolizes the passing of the 19th Amendment.

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©2020 Vonn Weisenberger