A record number of women are populating the new U.S. Congress, and women’s rights continue to be part of the national dialogue.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment with the exhibition, “From Corsets to Suffrage: Victorian Women Trailblazers,” until Nov. 3, 2019, 12 to 4 p.m.
Women’s right to vote was a milestone in the ongoing effort to guarantee women’s full and equal protection under law, participation in civic and community life and social equity. The suffrage movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries shaped the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and continues to echo in today’s every-day life.
The exhibition, “From Corsets to Suffrage” will show local, regional and national efforts featuring rare images, objects, memorabilia and period costumes that illustrate the activities and contributions of women and men from across the state and country.
This exploration will also highlight women of national renown, who are part of the Mansion’s history, such as author and Titanic survivor Helen Churchill Candee, an active participant in the Washington D.C. suffrage parade, and Elsie Hill, who aided Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party and locally, the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association on its 1912 multi-week trolley tour.
Other highlights are Norwalk advocate Alyse Gregory, who managed the 1913 Connecticut tour of the British play “How the Vote Was Won,” and the eldest daughters of U.S. Congressman Ebenezer Hill, Clara and Helena; the latter was arrested four times for picketing the White House.
The exhibition is sponsored in part by CT Humanities and curated by Kathleen Motes Bennewitz, who said, “To organize this important exhibition, we combed through period newspapers, magazines and collections for objects, documents, and costumes to illustrate the activities — from local grassroots meetings to statewide campaigns and national efforts. Audiences of today will resonate with their collective struggle and be inspired to appreciate and exercise their own right to vote.”
The Museum’s 2019 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown, LMMM’s 2019 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk and The Maurice Goodman Foundation.