League of Women Voters | Nashville Parade for Women’s Suffrage
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Nashville Parade for Women’s Suffrage

$100.00

100 signed and numbered 28″ x 34″ prints on Epson Ultra-Smooth Fine Art Paper— 15-mils thick, 250 gsm, 100% cotton, hot press, acid-free paper. Ultrachrome Inks— projected to be color-stable for 100+ years. Archive Scan–highest quality digital scan.

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TSM OBJECT SCREEN ARTIFACT CATALOGUE INFORMATION REVISED Title: Nashville Parade for Women’s Suffrage

OIL ON CANVAS PAINTING, MEASURING 36X48, PAINTED IN 1995 BY SHIRLEY MARTIN. PROPERTY OF THE TENNESSEE STATE MUSEUM. IT IS CURRENTLY ON LOAN TO FIRST LADY CHRISSY HASLAM AND HANGS IN HER OFFICE.

Ms. Martin, A Blount County native, has been portraying Tennessee history since 1979. Her primitive style records history in a manner that welcomes the viewer as an active participant.

This painting depicts the diverse group of women who came together in 1920 when the League was founded in Nashville. It is a reminder of the annual May Day suffrage parade, when suffragists and their children marched from the Tennessee capitol downtown to the Parthenon in Centennial Park at the western edge of the city. People from all racial, religious, and ethnic groups came together to stand for the VOTES FOR WOMEN and to found the League.

The building in the lower right, with the tall steeple, was Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church (16th and Broad). The Vine Street Temple is the building above it with onion domes (6th Ave. South). The Tennessee State Capitol is atop the hill in the upper right. The Fisk Memorial Chapel is in the upper left. The Parthenon is the large building where the parade terminates, and the Vanderbilt University Clock Tower is in the foreground. Each of these buildings represents the various groups of women who rallied for suffrage and founded the League of Women Voters in an atmosphere of racial, religious, and ethnic cooperation.

On 18 May 1920 there was an air of anticipation as suffragists convened in Nashville for the first meeting of the League of Women Voters. Thirty-five states had already ratified the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Anne Dallas Dudley, a Nashville suffragist and vice-president of the National Suffragist Association, would address the “Victory Banquet” with a spirited call for Tennessee to become the thirty-sixth, and put the amendment over the top.

Mrs. Dudley and other founders believed the League would become a strong coalition of women’s organizations across the state and nation, providing education about governmental issues and working together for specific legislative goals. During the two days of meetings, the suffragists listened to many representatives of each political party. Among the concerns heard were the words of Frankie J. Pierce, an untiring African-American woman who organized several institutions for the benefit of women and girls, including the Tennessee Vocational School for Colored Girls. Mrs. Pierce told her audience that the Negro women would stand by the white women when suffrage was won, saying, “We are asking only one thing: a square deal.”

Today, the League of Women Voters still adheres to the basic beliefs of its founders and seeks to bring citizens together to work in an atmosphere of cooperation to foster constructive change for our communities and nation.