ON VIEW NOW
Women in the Face of History
This exhibition at Federal Hall caps a year-long national centennial commemoration of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution—finally ratified in 1920—that affirmed people cannot be denied the right to vote due to their sex.
The banner exhibition currently hanging on the façade of Federal Hall is part of larger year-long project called 100 years/100 Women. See sidebar for details.
The 19th Amendment was a huge step forward for American democracy that seemed to grant the right to vote to all women but, in fact, many women were still unable to vote. Dozens of state laws created barriers to voting for women, at times along with the threat of violence, that denied them access to the ballot. Most Asian American women could not vote until 1952. Native American women could not vote in all 50 states until 1957. A majority of Black women could not vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensured greater access to the ballot box for them, as it did as for Black men. To this day there are enduring inequalities and contested meanings of citizenship and rights.
The banner exhibition Women in the Face of History confronts our national narrative, considers who was excluded from its telling and restores women, from all backgrounds and perspectives, to their rightful place in our civic spaces and celebrations.