Nevada State Museum exhibit showcases women’s suffrage effort

The year 2020 marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Yet, it was not the answer to all women, and was not the end of the fight to win suffrage for all.

In its new exhibit, “Prejudice & Pride: The Fight to Vote”, the Nevada State Museum Las Vegas puts women’s suffrage into context with other U.S. suffrage challenges, changes and successes since the ratification of the US Constitution.

The exhibit opens March 7 and will be in place through the end of the year. It strives to describe the suffrage effort from its earliest days up to the modern day.

“Although the 19th Amendment is an important moment in American history, its passage was just part of the fight to vote,” said Crystal Van Dee, Librarian and Curator of Manuscripts at the museum and co-curator of the exhibit. “The more we researched, the more we realized that we needed to provide more context to understand the attitudes and beliefs of the past. So, not only is this exhibit a celebration of the 19th Amendment, we use the anniversary as a point of departure to examine American suffrage as a whole.”

Sarah Hulme, co-curator, said the exhibit allows museum artifacts to help tell the story

“We used artifacts in this exhibit that we had in our collections to help tell the story too – from a book of the proceedings of the 1864 Nevada legislature, where the rules of whom could vote in the state were documented, to a selection of Equal Rights Act (ERA buttons we have) as the women’s fight for equality continues to a pair of Vietnam era ‘jungle boots’ typically worn by fighting soldiers who were not old enough to vote at that time.”

The exhibition is sponsored by Bank of America. Like all new exhibits at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, this one is also translated into Spanish.

The Nevada State Museum Las Vegas is located on the Springs Preserve campus, 309 S. Valley View Boulevard. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.