Podcast: Women’s suffrage movement focus of new photography show at Arnika Dawkins Gallery

Inez Milholland at the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade in Washington, D.C., March 3, 1913
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Inez Milholland at the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade in Washington, D.C., March 3, 1913

Credit: Library of Congress

Credit: Library of Congress

Jeanine Michna-Bales reimagines last campaign of 19th amendment pioneer.

While working on her photo essay about the Underground Railroad, Jeanine Michna-Bales became intrigued by the seminal role the anti-slavery movement played in the birth of the women’s suffrage effort here in the United States. So, once she completed her underground railroad series, Michna-Bales turned to the women’s suffrage campaigns of the 1800s, and through her research became captivated by the work of Inez Milholland. Milholland was in her early 30s when she became one of the most visible and electrifying advocates for women’s right to vote. Here was a woman who led suffrage marches wearing a crown and cape astride a white horse. Her speeches were impassioned and drew throngs of supporters, and detractors, wherever she went.

Through newspaper clippings, letters from Milholland to her husband, and other documents, Michna-Bales set out on a three year quest to recreate Milholland’s last campaign for women’s suffrage through the American West. Using friends, volunteers, rented venues and costumes, Michna-Bales tells Milholland’s story in “Standing Together: Inez Milholland’s Final Campaign for Women’s Suffrage.” It’s a tale of passion, dedication, idealism and tragedy.

Photographs from the series are now on view at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery on Cascade Road, now through Christmas.

We spoke with Michna-Bales about “Standing Together,” and what it took to recreate a signal event in an epic life.

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