Sowing the Winter Wheat

Suffragists, Feminists and Other Sheroes

Archive for April, 2008

Inherited Voices

I thought that I would start off by showing my etching titled “Inherited Voices” and give some background about it…. It is the full version of what I have used for the header of my blog..

inherited voices

This is a two color solar etching….

I took the image from a real photo postcard that I bought in an antique mall in Virginia on my 50th birthday….. I was thrilled….. It is of a very famous suffrage parade that took place in Washington DC on March 3, 1913… Organized by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, the parade consisted of 6,000 to 8,000 women, ten bands, 26 floats and many congressmen and politicians…. The infamous Inez Milholland lead the parade on top of a horse named Gray Dawn…. She was dressed to symbolize a free woman of the future……. Towards the end of the parade, drunken men and boys converged on and attacked the women…. tearing at their clothes, ripping their banners and hitting and spitting on them…. and nearly stopping the parade…. But the calvery from Fort Myers was called in and the women marched on…..

In the postcard collecting world, suffrage postcards are highly valued….. I have been offered up to $300 for my piece of history… But I have become a collector of suffrage items so it will remain in my collection….

I superimposed a poem about mothers over the photo to create this image with the thought that you get your “voice” from your mother…. either you saw that she didn’t have a voice or she taught you to have your own AND in a corny way, the suffragists are mothers to us all…..

This is the first Suffrage piece that I did and the reaction that I got from it made me decide that I needed to explore the subject more…. Many of the younger women who looked at the piece didn’t know what the word “suffrage” was even about……. After answering that question for about a dozen times, I wanted to show more examples of what went on before 1920 ( the year we got the vote)……

I have sold this image to a variety of women….. doctors, lawyers, judges, women who were a part of the women’s movement in the 60s, women working for the Barak Obama campaign, accountants and women from just about all walks of life….. It has been exciting to feel the enthusiasm about our history…..

So this was just the start…….


An Introduction

Nearing the end of her life, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in her diary, “We are sowing winter wheat which the coming spring will see sprout and which other hands than ours will reap and enjoy”….

She knew that she would not live long enough to see the results of what she fought so hard for most of her life….. the right of women to be able to vote…. On October 26, 1902, she died… It would be another 18 years before women were given that right….

On March 13, 1906, Susan B. Anthony died…. Lucretia Mott had died in 1880….. Matilda Joslyn Gage died in 1898… Lucy Stone died in 1893….. Amelia Bloomer died in 1894….. Basically, most of the women who initiated the struggle did not live long enough to see the fruits of their labor…..

I saw a report one day on CNN explaining that 22 million women had voted during the last election while about 20 million women of voting age did not….. My first thought was “What the hell is wrong with those 20 million women? …. Don’t they know what women went through to get us that right?….. Did the winter wheat not get fully harvested?”

I was disgusted…..

Well, in their defense, most of our history books just gloss over the women’s suffrage movement and unless you take a Women’s History course in college, you might be inclined to think only men made history… Okay, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration …… sort of……

As an artist, I usually research my subjects and end up getting as wrapped up in the history as in doing the actual art….. This certainly was the case in what I discovered about the strong and amazing suffragists….. I wanted to share my journey with you….. And then maybe together we won’t waste our inherited winter wheat……..