Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today | Virginia Museum of History & Culture
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Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today

Equal Suffrage League of Richmond at Capitol Square (Richmond, Virginia), 1915 (2002.225.1). Gift of Adele Clark.

The passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 radically re-defined the meaning of American democracy by banning gender-based restrictions on voting. This landmark legislation marked the culmination of a concerted fight for women’s suffrage and heralded a new age of female participation in American civic life.

Organized in conjunction with the statewide Women’s Suffrage Centennial, this exhibition featuring artifacts from the museum’s vast collections and new acquisitions made through a major collecting initiative, celebrates a century of women’s social and political activism in the Commonwealth. Highlighting the efforts and impact of a selection of female change-makers these women brought about positive change in their communities, the Commonwealth, and the nation. They also created new models of female empowerment and new opportunities for women—ultimately fostering a more inclusive and equal society.

Thank you to our exhibition sponsors: The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. G. Gilmer Minor III and Lynda Johnson Robb.

Agents of Change Online Exhibition

Explore our online exhibition of Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today with a 360-degree virtual tour. 

Today's Agents of Change Photo Project

In association with the Agents of Change exhibition, the VMHC is engaging a group of contemporary “agents of change” to recreate an iconic 1915 photograph of the Virginia suffrage movement (seen at the top of this page). About 100 years after the original was taken, the VMHC will bring together a group of contemporary “agents of change” to recreate the image. Although not a comprehensive picture, this 2020 portrait will capture the dynamism and diversity of female activism in Virginia today.⁠

The photograph will be unveiled at the VMHC on Sunday, March 8, 2020 to celebrate the opening of Agents of Change and International Women’s Day. The photograph will be displayed at the VMHC during 2020 and reproduced in a limited edition print series. 

Learn more about the project and participants.

Mimosa flowerIs there a woman whose activism has inspired you? 
Consider honoring a woman in your life with a mimosa tribute gift! Help us fill the museum with mimosas celebrating the women who have impacted your life by making a gift of $50 to the VMHC today. Learn more and make a gift here.

The VMHC is also collecting stories and items that celebrate Virginia women as drivers of change. Share your stories and items here.

Exhibition Information

Sun Mar 8 2020, 10:00amSun Nov 1 2020, 5:00pm
Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
In Stern Family Gallery

In the museum shop

Dress up your vanity or side table with this inspiring porcelain and gold tray.
"Votes for Women" Tray
Eye-catching and entertaining, this mug is guaranteed to bring smiles to any morning coffee routine.
"Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History" Mug
For four centuries, Virginia women have made history that is both important and inspiring. This engaging narrative is based on recent scholarly work as well as research in original records.
Changing History: Virginia Women Through Four Centuries book
This engaging nonfiction book, complete with black-and-white interior illustrations, covers everything from the history of women's rights in the U.S. to women's suffrage movements across the world.
Women's Suffrage: Blast Back! book


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