City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, giving women in the US the right to vote. It was an arduous campaign to reach the milestone, and it wasn’t until August 6, 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that American citizens of all races and genders were guaranteed to share in this privilege.
On August 6, 2020, The Elisabet Ney Museum will open SUFFRAGE NOW: A 19th Amendment Centennial Exhibition. In SUFFRAGE NOW, women and women-identifying photographers nationwide were invited via a juried open call to share photos that comment on the Centennial of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment. The most eloquent images were chosen and included in this very special online exhibition, which will remain accessible through at least January 31, 2021. The Elisabet Ney Museum is a uniquely qualified venue to host such an exhibition, as its namesake was a firebrand artist and activist who fought bravely for Democracy and Women’s Suffrage in Europe and America but did not live to see it secured.
Programming to accompany the exhibition will include a monthly online discussion with show jurors and featured photographers. The first will take place on Tuesday August 18 at 7:30 p.m. and will feature moderator Tammie R. Rubin, Associate Professor of Art at St. Edward’s University, interviewing exhibition jurors on the meaning of the Centennial to them, and their decision making process for the exhibition. Subsequent monthly SUFFRAGE NOW programs will follow. The museum also has curricular material available for family and school discussions that support Suffrage and the women’s rights movement.
Furthermore, a special social media campaign encouraging photographers of all kinds worldwide - professional, amateur, and those in and out of the exhibition - to post and tag photos with #SuffrageNow in the description, will allow potentially thousands of voices to be heard.
For more information about the exhibition, and links upon its opening, as well as curricular material and a discussion calendar, please visit elisabetneymuseum.org.
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SUFFRAGE NOW was juried by: Leslie Baldwin, former Photography Editor at Texas Monthly Magazine, and Adjunct Professor of Photography at Austin Community College; Miriam Conner, artist, producer, and community activist; Cindy Elizabeth, photographer and multi‐media artist; Carla Ellard, Photography Archivist/Curator at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, San Marcos; Lynn Meredith, photography collector, philanthropist and community activist; DJ Stout, Partner at Pentagram Design Inc.; Coka Treviño, Program Coordinator at Big Medium and Co‐Curator and Project Manager for Golden Hornet’s MXTX; Erin Trieb, Photographer and Filmmaker represented by National Geographic Image Collection; and Anne Tucker, Curator Emeritus of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
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About The Elisabet Ney Museum
The Mission of the Elisabet Ney Museum is to preserve the memory and legacy of Elisabet Ney (1833-1907) for educational, historical, and artistic purposes. The Vision of the Elisabet Ney Museum is to expand upon Elisabet Ney's goal: to inspire humanity by creating unique visitor experiences that portray and attract a diverse audience and leave them challenged, uplifted, and positively motivated by their visit.
The Elisabet Ney Museum is a City of Austin property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is both a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark and a City of Austin Historic Landmark. It is also a founding member of Historic Artists Homes and Studios, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, and the American Association for State and Local History’s Women’s History Affinity Committee.
About Elisabet Ney
Elisabet Ney, born in 1833 in middle-class Münster, Westphalia, became the first woman ever admitted to Munich’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts (graduating magna cum laude), later matriculating to similar accolade in sculpture in Berlin. Her German Neo-Classical portraits range from Arthur Schopenhauer to Giuseppe Garibaldi. Her incisive talent in portraiture ensured a busy practice and a rising position in the avant garde of pre-Imperial Germany.
Deeply intellectual, a gender non-conformist and energetic democracy activist, she emigrated as a political refugee in 1871, eventually landing as a foreigner in East Texas. After struggling to farm and raise her son, at nearly 60 years of age, she decided to re-start her sidelined sculpting career in the state capital, Austin. Formosa, her rugged, limestone Austin home and studio, (today’s Elisabet Ney Museum) was built in 1892 to accommodate her revived practice. From here, Elisabet created iconic Texas figurative sculptures, while forging the young state’s intellectual underpinnings. Her salons, modeled after those she enjoyed in Berlin but held outdoors, became highly influential, a nexus for intellectual and political engagement in formative Austin. She was a celebrity and a cultural influencer again, exerting a major influence on expansion of the arts, education, and the women’s movement in Texas. She passed away at Formosa in 1907.
In 1911, her friends coalesced on the site to form the Texas Fine Arts Association and the Elisabet Ney Museum, saving her home and keeping her independent and artistic spirit alive. Over 100 years later, through robust, evocative programming and engagement, the Elisabet Ney Museum now provides both an anchor and a laboratory for progressive identity and art both at home and abroad. Elisabet’s remarkable life story resonates seamlessly with many of today’s larger narratives, namely women’s rights, civil rights, political emigration and immigration, ageism, the disdain of the different and odd, the marginalization of groups, the fragility of intellectualism, and the reality of a life lived in a sincere pre-Modern pursuit of Enlightenment for all humankind.