The year 2020 will be the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Our museum-based exhibit project is a first look at the unexpected and compelling history of the women’s suffrage movement in Lynchburg, Virginia. The exhibit project, titled Commemorating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Lynchburg, is an integration of public history and public art. It will utilize sight and sound to describe the efforts expended by women over the course of more than 75 years to gain the right to vote. This exhibit highlights the many unknown local women involved in this forgotten history and ties into the statewide exhibits, performances, and lectures that will take place in Virginia over the course of 2020. Our exhibit will bring together illuminating visuals, a public art project located in an unexpected place, and diverse programming (from performance to film to lectures). Utilizing two traveling exhibits-one from the Library of Virginia and another from the Virginia Museum of History and Culture-the Lynchburg Museum will become a center for learning about the statewide movement for women’s rights, and how the City of Lynchburg helped do this work at the local, state and national levels.
This exhibit project is the first of its kind for the Lynchburg Museum Foundation/Lynchburg Museum System, and will model how contemporary practices of public art and public history can be leveraged for greater impact when working with cultural heritage.