This July, our nation celebrates the centennial of the historic ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote – one that many will exercise this fall to decide our nation’s next president. What might be unknown to some is that the deciding vote to ratify the amendment occurred in Nashville, Tennessee. On July 31, the Tennessee State Museum opens Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote, a comprehensive exhibition that will be up through March 2021 details the rich history of women’s activism in this pivotal state.
Our story-focused approach to museum exhibit design led to laying out the space to allow truth in multiple narratives and experiences to be seen and explored. This also lends itself well to social distancing as the design was being finalized during the initial rise in the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors can move through two large galleries and explore artifacts, photographs, maps and watch key clips from the Nashville Public Television’s documentary By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South. The collaborative vision we developed with the Museum avoided era-specific styles and instead features big, bold text and mural-size portraits of many heroes of the movement – helping bring their struggle forward into today.