Women's Suffrage in a Graphic Display

Article excerpt

IN convention halls, union rooms, and on streets of the United States and Great Britain from the 1850s to the early 20th century, a chorus of women's voices grew louder.

The women were suffragists protesting laws that forbade them the right to vote.

The suffragist movement began in Britain in 1851 and in America in 1869. Women used a variety of tactics to get their message out. For years they lobbied politicians, spoke to audiences of men, picketed, and demonstrated. In England, where the movement was most militant, many women participated in hunger strikes, broke windows, and were imprisoned. Later they used posters to promote their cause.

A collection of 55 posters - rare reprints and one-of-a-kind originals - are on display at Radcliffe College's Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America in Cambridge, Mass., through Dec. 3. The exhibit, "Votes for Women," celebrates the 50th anniversary of the library, which started in 1943 with a collection of suffrage materials.

Many posters in the collection, which belonged to California suffragist Alice Park, were produced by both female and male artists who worked for pro-women causes. …