Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond takes the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment as the occasion for an exploration of the issues and challenges women in the United States have faced, and continue to face, in politics and society. The exhibition will serve as a campus and community hub for action and activism during the run up to the 2020 United States presidential election and post-election.
Installed in the gallery will be work by 100 women artists. The center of the gallery will hold a framework replica of the Wesleyan Chapel—site of the first suffrage meeting in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. The exhibition is intended as a space for debate, discussion, and dialogue: for visitors who gather there; among the artists exhibited; and between the artists and the original suffragists, in a symbolic conversation across time that both critiques and expands on the suffragists’ initial accomplishment.
Never Done and its related programming will look at institutional structures that create power hierarchies impacting women across all aspects of society, including media bias, access to funds, and backlash against women seeking power. The exhibition will also consider the role of race and economics in shaping women’s participation in politics—for example, the relative disenfranchisement of women of color and low-income women far beyond the 19th Amendment.
A concurrent exhibition in the Winter Gallery will explore the history of Skidmore women in politics from 1920 to the present, drawing on materials from the Scribner Library Archives and Special Collections.