Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond takes the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment as the occasion for reflection and exploration of the issues and challenges women in the United States have faced, and continue to face, in politics and society.
What has been accomplished in the last 100 years, and what has yet to be accomplished?
The fight for the 19th amendment was achieved through marches, demonstrations, and protest tactics that are still used today. And in the current moment of protest and activism around racism in the United States, Never Donespeaks to the role of race and class in shaping women’s participation in politics and the public sphere.
When the 19th amendment—which stated that US citizens could not be denied the right to vote based on their sex—was ratified in 1920, many women were still denied this right. While the federal suffrage amendment prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, it did not address the intersectional discrimination that many American women faced: women from marginalized communities continued to face obstacles because of their race. Native American, Asian American, Latinx, and African American suffragists had to fight for their own enfranchisement long after the 19th Amendment was ratified.
Never Done is intended to be a celebration, a conversation, a critique, and a commemoration of the journey women have taken and have yet to take. Never Done aims to go beyond politics to create conversations about art, gender, race, and intersectional identities. To do so, this exhibition presents artwork by a diverse group of women: Black, brown, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and differently-abled women and non-binary artists; artists working in photography, painting, printmaking, collage, textile, and sculpture; artists from across the United States and from different generations. Moreover, statements from each artist reflect on their work in relation to women’s rights, feminisms, justice and representation, and the legacy of the suffrage movement. Taken together, this project reveals the myriad of different experiences women have and the multiplicity of views and modes of expression that women employ to communicate what is important to them.
—Rachel Seligman and Minita Sanghvi
Starting September 17, online visitors will experience a variety of content including images of 100 artworks by women and non-binary artists along with statements by each artist that reflect on their work in relation to women’s rights, representation, justice, and the legacy of the suffrage movement. Additional online content will include curatorial writing, student reflections, a list of feminist readings and online resources, and more.
When classes began August 24, students, faculty, and curators will use the gallery as a laboratory, working to discuss and envision the exhibition design for Never Done, which visitors will be able to experience when the Museum reopens to the public. With a diverse group of women and non-binary artists working in photography, painting, printmaking, collage, textile, and sculpture, the exhibition manifests a multiplicity of women’s experiences, views, and modes of expression.