In this special, four-panel banner exhibition, learn about how organizations like the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association gave women an outlet to effect social change, paving the way for women’s suffrage.

Special Exhibit Showing From

In the 1850s a group of women banded together to save Mount Vernon. Founded by Ann Pamela Cunningham, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) purchased George Washington’s home from its last private owner. The MVLA took ownership of the property in 1860 and opened to the public as a museum.

The MVLA was at the forefront of an explosion of all-female organizations in the 19th century. Women’s groups promoting issues such as abolition, temperance, child welfare, and historic preservation gave members an intellectual outlet, leadership experience, and increasingly public roles in society. Yet these women lacked one powerful tool—the right to vote.

Gaining access to the ballot box presented new obstacles, as women aimed to enter a sphere dominated entirely by men. It would take decades for suffrage activists to achieve their goal.

Equal Suffrage League of Richmond, Virginia, May 1915. Virginia Museum of History and Culture (2002.225.2)

Equal Suffrage League of Richmond, Virginia, May 1915. Virginia Museum of History and Culture (2002.225.2)

Exhibit Details

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Exhibit Dates

On view now through August 2020.  This exhibit is included with General Admission.

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Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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