On Wednesday, February 5 at 4:00 p.m. in the Main Lobby of the Vermont State House, a new exhibition will be presented by State Curator David Schutz and Asst. State Curator Jack Zeilenga. “Women in the State House”, a four-panel story that begins with early 19th century women’s suffrage advocate Clarina Howard Nichols, continues with Vermont’s early women legislators in the 1920’s and concludes with women exercising political power on an equal footing with their male colleagues. Governor Philip B. Scott, Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe–and some of the women featured in the exhibition–will be on hand at 4 p.m. to briefly speak to mark this occasion.
For nearly two years, the State Curator’s Office has worked with a curatorial task force consisting of the Friends of the State House, close colleagues from other museums as well as advisors from groups who are underrepresented on the walls of the State House. This exhibit tells the story of the largest of those groups–the political empowerment of Vermont women.
A group of Vermont women historians worked with Asst. State Curator Jack Zeilenga to develop the text. This exhibition follows another addition to the State House lobby in 2019 that explored state recognition of the Abenakis as Vermont’s indigenous people.
“With the upcoming centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, the story of women advocating for their right to vote, and the past 100 years of their gradual assumption of political power in the State House, it’s the perfect moment to celebrate that achievement,” says State Curator David Schutz.
In addition to the story panels, the exhibition also includes the original House desk where Edna Beard, Vermont’s first female legislator once sat.
A reception sponsored by the Friends of the Vermont State House will immediately follow the ceremony from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
For additional questions, please contact Jack Zeilenga, Assistant State Curator 802-828-0749, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org