A visiting exhibit at Utah State University highlights the work of a 20th-century political cartoonist and women’s rights advocate.
“I don’t think I had quite a sense of what it took to pass the 19th Amendment,” said Molly Cannon, the director of the university’s anthropology museum. “That is something that I have learned from having this exhibit here on campus.”
The exhibit, entitled “A Woman Speaking to Women,” features eight original political cartoons drawn by Nina Allender for “The Suffragist,” the weekly publication of the National Women’s Party. Allender created cartoons for the newspaper each week from 1914 to 1917.
The work features women advocating for their voting rights and uses both wit and references to contemporary events to portray its message.
To accompany the exhibit, two USU students who work in the museum created a display that explores divisions of labor for women across both history and the globe.
“We also wanted to shine some light on women’s cooperatives in these communities that help them create structure for their families, bring in income and put them on a more equal platform,” said Josie Mythen, one of the contributors to the exhibit who recently completed her anthropology degree.
Madison Dunn, another contributor to the exhibit, said they wanted to focus their exhibit on women’s empowerment and selected the topic of labor divisions because being able to work is important to women’s equality.
“The suffrage movement, that was part of their platform. They wanted to see equality develop on three spheres, political … but also social empowerment and equality as well as economic. There were the same sort of things that the suffragists had in mind a hundred years ago and were working towards,” Cannon said.
Together, Mythen said the exhibits help connect past suffrage efforts with what is happening today.
“It shows that even though they did as much work as they did, we are still working toward equality today,” Mythen said.
Both exhibits will be on display at the museum through August. On Tuesdays at 2 p.m., a docent-led tour will be offered featuring a short presentation on the exhibit.
On Saturday at 3 p.m., there will be an opening event at the at the museum featuring a presentation by Candi Carter Olson, a professor in the university’s journalism department.
The museum is located in Room 252 of Old Main on USU campus and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or questions about parking, call (435)797-7545.