Beyond Suffrage

A Century of New York Women in Politics

Through August 5, 2018

Women's March sign by Rene Lynch, 2017.
  • 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St., Open Daily 10am–6pm

    Back to Exhibitions

    Discover a century of women’s political activism in New York City.

    Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics traces women’s political activism in New York City from the struggle to win the vote, through the 20th century, and into our own times. Beginning with the long battle for women’s voting rights that culminated in 1917 statewide and 1920 nationally, the exhibition highlights women at the center of New York’s politics over the course of 100 years. It features a diverse range of activists both familiar and lesser known, the battles they fought, and the many issues they championed.

    The exhibition examines how women navigated New York politics in the 1920s through 1940s, often working behind the scenes for causes like health, labor, and good government; the central role of New York in the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and its redefining of women’s roles in politics and government; and continued campaigns for women’s political power and grassroots mobilizations that demand equal gender rights today.

    Beyond Suffrage features rare artifacts, documents, garments, photographs, and audio-visual materials spanning more than a century that show how women have been politicized—and in turn changed politics—in New York and beyond.

    Please note: Beyond Suffrage will be closed on Tuesday, January 23.

    Poster by Rene Lynch. Museum of the City of New York, 2017.27.1b


    Cast Your Vote!

    In 1917, New York reformed its electoral rules by giving women the right to vote. Today, with voting turnout low, some are calling for changes to voting rules to bring more people to the polls. Each month, Beyond Suffrage will highlight a different proposal to change voting rules.
    This month, we are asking visitors to weigh in on same-day voter registration. New York requires voters to register at least 25 days before elections. But 15 states and the District of Columbia allow voters to register on Election Day. Supporters of same-day registration argue that this increases the number of voters and helps voters whose names have been dropped from the rolls. Opponents say that same-day registration is too complicated and encourages unprepared voting.
    Visit Beyond Suffrage to cast your vote! And stay tuned for next month’s question.
    Learn more about how New Yorkers have voted in recent elections by gender and by neighborhood, and proposals to increase voter participation and elect more women to office in New York.


    Gloria Steinem (Chair)
    Liz J. Abzug
    Carol Bellamy
    Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
    Ellen Chesler
    Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke
    Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Jacqueline Ebanks
    U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
    Betsy Gotbaum
    NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
    Elizabeth Holtzman
    Public Advocate Tish James
    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
    Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
    Sarah Maslin Nir
    Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker, New York City Council
    First Lady Chirlane McCray
    Congresswoman Grace Meng
    Ruth Messinger
    Kate Millett
    Robin Morgan
    Rosemonde Pierre-Louis
    Dorothy Pitman Hughes
    Congresswoman Kathleen Rice
    Reshma Saujani
    Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter
    Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
    Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Democratic Conference Leader
    Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez
    Faye Wattleton
    Bonnie Wong


    Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics is made possible in part by the Puffin Foundation Ltd.; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Derald H. Ruttenberg Foundation in honor of Susan Henshaw Jones; Time Warner Inc.; Loreen Arbus; Shawn and Brook Byers; an Anonymous donor; Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker, New York City Council; Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; Barbara Lee Family Foundation; Cynthia Manocherian; Elizabeth Sackler Foundation; William E. Weiss Foundation/Daryl Brown Uber; Diane and Adam Max; Patricia A. M. Riley; Betsy and Andrew Fippinger; Jerry H. Goldfeder; Loreen Arbus; Martha and Alex Wallau; Senator Diane J. Savino; Ms. Alexandra Stanton / Empire Global Ventures; Min Sun Kim; Hon. Leslie A. Stroth; Helen K. Morik; and Cathy Raphael.

    Committee to Celebrate Women in New York


    Loreen Arbus

    Shawn and Brook Byers




    Daryl Brown Uber

    Cynthia Manocherian



    Patricia A. M. Riley 

    In-Depth Stories

    Join MCNY!

    Want free or discounted tickets, special event invites, and more?