History Museum Celebrates Women’s Suffrage with Outdoor Exhibit

By August 4, 2020Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (August 4, 2020) One hundred years ago, women fought for, and won, the right to vote. Los Altos History Museum celebrates this milestone with an outdoor exhibit entitled “Rise Up! The Fight for Women’s Suffrage,” on display beginning August 20.

Originally slated as a larger exhibition in the main gallery of the Museum, a mini-version of “Rise Up!” will be mounted on the wraparound porch of the J. Gilbert Smith House. Set up as a self-guided tour, visitors may safely browse the large panels of historic photographs and text at any time, while practicing social distancing with others. When Santa Clara County allows the Museum to reopen, the outdoor exhibit will be consolidated with the main exhibition.

“We were disappointed not to be able to open the exhibition as planned in the main gallery, but flexibility is the name of the game this year,” said Exhibition Curator, Dr. Amy Ellison. “Our team worked hard to pivot to this outside exhibit so we would have it up before August 26th, which is national Women’s Equality Day and the 100th anniversary of the Constitutional Amendment.”

Rise Up! The Fight for Women’s Suffrage” explores the history of the suffrage movement at the national level, but also focuses on how Bay Area suffragists played an important role in winning the right to vote. It points out the obstacles women faced and the tools they used to drum up support, as well as the shortcomings of the movement and who was left out.

“While many women achieved the vote in 1920, it took decades longer for women and men of color to win the same right in many areas of the country,” said Dr. Ellison. “We want visitors to understand what a long and arduous road it was for women to be able to vote, and that the fight for equality is far from over.”

The exhibit is sponsored by Los Altos Community Foundation, the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy, the League of Women Voters (Los Altos-Mountain View Chapter), and American Association of University Women (Los Altos-Mountain View Chapter).

Pivoting to an outdoor exhibit is one of many ways the nonprofit is providing the museum experience while closed to the public. The online exhibit of David Bacon’s black-and-white photographs of migrant farmworkers, “In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte,” is available for viewing on the Museum’s website through August 19. Also available: a collection of Anna Knapp Fitz paintings, a Peek into the Past archive of historical photographs, and a video series entitled “Orchard Talks.” The Museum’s outdoor agricultural exhibition renovation was also recently completed and is open for visitors.

To learn about upcoming programs and online events, visit the website at losaltoshistory.org and sign up to be on the Museum’s mailing list.

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The indoor Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are temporarily closed. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are open to visitors. For more information, visit: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org