The New York State Museum’s traveling exhibit, “Votes For Women,” will be on display in the Reed Library at the State University of New York at Fredonia throughout November, will open at 5pm on November 7, 2017 and run through December 8. Featured along with the New York State Museum’s exhibit is a companion exhibit, curated by Fredonia English students, that focuses on local women’s suffrage history, as well as the history of the League of Women Voters. The opening reception will include a guest lecture by Niagara University professor Dr. Shannon Risk, who served as a content editor of the New York State Museum’s traveling exhibit. The event will commemorate the centennial anniversary of women's suffrage in New York and the role of local Chautauqua County women in the suffrage movement.
For those who cannot travel to Albany to see the New York State Museum’s suffrage centennial exhibit in person, this is a great alternative opportunity, as the traveling exhibit is curated by the New York State Museum and reflects the rich legacy of the women’s suffrage movement throughout the state. On this centennial anniversary of woman’s suffrage, this local opportunity to partake in the statewide celebration is also a great way to learn of the prominent grassroots campaigns women from Fredonia, Dunkirk, and throughout Chautauqua County played in the fight for liberties and equality for women.
The New York State Museum says the exhibit will “raise public awareness of the struggle for women’s suffrage and equal rights in New York State from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention through 1917 when New York State granted women the right to vote. The exhibition will also address the nationally significant role of New York State leaders in regards to women’s rights and the feminist movement through the early 21st century.”
The exhibit and reception event at Reed Library represents a culmination of women’s suffrage centennial activities that students in Dr. Emily VanDette’s English Senior Seminar have been involved with. Earlier this fall, a guest lecture by Professor Traci Langworthy highlighted the Political Equality Clubs of Fredonia and Dunkirk during the suffrage movement, which helped Chautauqua County earn the distinction of having New York’s largest political equality clubs. Following Professor Langworthy’s lecture, Carol Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat and numerous other books, visited Fredonia and spoke about Western New York’s unique role in the 19th century women’s rights movement and addressed the legacy of racism in that movement and in society.
Additionally, Dr. VanDette’s Senior Seminar teamed up with the WCA Home of Fredonia to celebrate the Home’s 125th anniversary this fall and to shed light on the activist roots of the Home’s founding. Community members and residents of the home were treated to displays of local women’s history made by Fredonia students at the event, ranging from Susan B. Anthony’s visit to the region to the Political Equality Club history and intersecting efforts to advocate for women in the local community.
The New York State Museum’s “Votes for Women” exhibit will open in Reed Library on November 7th, and the lecture and reception will take place from 5:00–6:30 PM. The event is sponsored by the SUNY Fredonia College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Fredonia’s Division of Engagement and Economic Development, Reed Library, and the League of Women Voters. The event is free and open to the public, with an appetizer and cake reception catered by FSA. Please contact Dr. Emily VanDette at Emily. VanDette@fredonia.edu for more information.
Friday, December 8, 2017
Reed Library, Fredonia, NY 14063