The George Eastman Museum has switched out its rotating display in its History of Photography Gallery to commemorate that this year marks 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The new selection of photographs explores how the photographic medium has helped shape perceptions of women, feminists, and social justice movements from Suffrage onward. Featuring photographic material from as far back as the mid-1800s to recent decades, the exhibition expands beyond the basics of the suffrage movement to consider the many women who were denied equity, and the subsequent movements that followed.
The showcase includes portraits of suffragist Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, Civil Rights Era documents related to the work of Angela Davis and Gloria Steinem, and photographic examples of the feminine gaze throughout time, by artists Julia Margaret Cameron and Carrie Mae Weems and photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. Drawn from the museum’s collections, the photo installation was curated by Eastman Museum curators Lisa Hostetler and Jamie M. Allen, as well as master’s students enrolled in the museum’s Photographic Preservation and Collections Management program.
And this week, the exhibition will be accompanied by a lecture, “A History of Photography Commemorating Ratification of the 19th Amendment,” in Eastman’s Focus 45 series, presented by Lisa Hostetler. The talk will shed light on the significance of the movements and the objects that documented these histories, putting today’s ongoing battles for social justice into historic context. The lecture will take place virtually on Friday, August 14, at 1 p.m. It’s free to attend but registration through Zoom is required.
The installation opened in late July at George Eastman Museum (900 East Avenue) and will remain on view through January 3, 2021. Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $5-$15 and free to members and kids under age 5. If you can’t visit in person, you can check out the exhibition virtually with a 3D tour at eastman.org.