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Grant number like: GI-269725-20

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Museum of the American Revolution (Philadelphia, PA 19106-2818)
Philip Mead (Project Director: August 2019 to present)

Exhibitions: Implementation
Public Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 6/30/2021

When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807

Implementation of a temporary exhibition, educational materials, a website, and related public programs exploring women’s citizenship and voting rights in the Early Republic. 

When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story 1776 – 1807 examines the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters—the New Jersey women who legally held the vote more than 100 years before the Nineteenth Amendment granted American women the franchise. Based on newly discovered poll lists and using original objects, digital interactives, and physical environments, the exhibition asks what new possibilities the Revolution created for women’s political activism. It explains how hope faltered amid rising partisanship, racism, and class tension as New Jersey closed the vote to all but propertied white men in 1807, yet, also how the Revolutionary promise rose again a generation later as suffragists drew inspiration from these early women voters. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the passage of women’s suffrage, the exhibition encourages visitors to consider that progress is not always linear, but that preserving rights and liberties requires constant vigilance.

"The Museum is planning for a partial reopening in August before we reopen to the public in September.
We anticipate limiting onsite visitation for the foreseeable future, including the cancellation of most
school groups visits and large group tours in spring 2021.
When Women Lost the Vote will open to the public on October 3 and will run through April 30, 2021.
Previously planned for the Museum’s special exhibit space, When Women Lost the Vote will be integrated
within the Museum’s core galleries, featuring newly installed historic objects and a new tableau scene,
and connected by an audio tour. It will also be made globally accessible to virtual visitors through a
robust online experience that will go live in September. An exhibition catalogue will also be published in
spring 2021.
The digital experience and many of the enhancements to the Museum’s core galleries will remain
permanently accessible for visitors.
Disseminating exhibition content across multiple formats will provide a flexible model for visitor
engagement. It will ensure broad public access to the exhibition, capitalizing on surging public interest in
the Museum’s virtual content, and accommodate onsite safety protocols in the galleries after reopening."