An inspiring celebration of U.S. women’s history told through Smithsonian artifacts illustrating women’s participation in science, art, music, sports, fashion, business, religion, entertainment, military, politics, activism, and more.
This book offers a unique, panoramic look at women’s history in the United States through the lens of ordinary objects from, by, and for extraordinary women. Featuring more than 280 artifacts from 16 Smithsonian museums and archives and more than 135 essays from 95 Smithsonian authors, this book tells women’s history as only the Smithsonian can.
Featured objects range from fine art to computer code, from First Ladies memorabilia to Black Lives Matter placards, and from Hopi pottery to a couch from the Oprah Winfrey show. There are familiar objects—such as the suffrage wagon used to advocate passage of the 19th Amendment and the Pussy Hat from the 2016 Women’s March in DC—as well as lesser-known pieces revealing untold stories. Portraits, photographs, paintings, political materials, signs, musical instruments, sports equipment, clothes, letters, ads, personal possessions, and other objects reveal the incredible stories of such amazing women as Phillis Wheatley, Julia Child, Sojourner Truth, Mary Cassatt, Madam C. J. Walker, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Till Mobley, Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta, Phyllis Diller, Celia Cruz, Sandra Day O’Connor, Billie Jean King, Sylvia Rivera, and so many more.
Together with the illuminating text, these objects elevate American women's importance in the home, workplace, government, and beyond. Published to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, Smithsonian American Women is a deeply satisfying read and a must-have reflection on how generations of women have defined what it means to be recognized in both the nation and the world.
The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world. Smithsonian American Women is part of The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, which illuminates women’s pivotal roles in building and sustaining our country. The book features objects from 16 Smithsonian museums and archives and text by 95 curators with expertise in various fields.