The Story Behind the Collage

7 Women of Conviction

This is a complicated collage comprised of parts of seven photos, an etching of the hilt of a dagger and some type. The image honors the many women who were arrested and imprisoned for their role in the protests that eventually pushed the United States to give women the right to vote in 1920.

The Story Behind the Collage

The Story Behind the Collage

Most of the women in this collage spent time in jail because they believed that women in the United States deserved the right to vote. They expressed this opinion in meetings, on marches and in publications.

For this, they were arrested and imprisoned.

I'm sure somebody--many somebodies, probably--said about their imprisonment something like what Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said in February 2017 explaining why he silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts): "“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

The persistence of the suffragists eventually pushed the United States to give women the right to vote, which happened in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution.

These are not the most famous activists, but they were on the front lines, they persisted in the face of discomfort and they prevailed. Without them and those like them, women would still be disenfranchised.

 

Frame.png
Constructing the Collage

Constructing the Collage

I started with the frame. The frame is an etching of a dagger and scabbard created by Wenceslaus Hollar in 1645. (See above.)   I found it in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's online database of artworks in the public domain.


Then, I replaced the faces in the etching with faces of suffragists. I found all of these photos in the Library of Congress database. (See below for the original pictures of the women.) To do this, I had to crop the faces out of the original photos, of course.


For numbers 1 through 5 of the faces, I also added some effects from Corel's PaintShop Pro X5 to make them more of a color and texture with the sword handle. Effects used: Aged Newspaper from the Artistic Effects menu, Charcoal from the Art Media Effects menu and Time Machine from the Photo Effects menu.

For the framed portrait of Lucy Stone (7), I used only the Aged Newspaper effect.


I handled the face (6) that is ghosted against the dagger blade somewhat differently, fooling around with cropping and opacity until I got the effect I liked.


Next, I put the dagger and scabbard against a new background.


Then, I added the type in two fonts: American BT and BankGothic Lt BT.

 

1  Catherine Flanagan   (above)

1 Catherine Flanagan (above)

Catherine Flanagan of Hartford, Conn was arrested picketing the White House in August 1917 and sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan Workhouse.


Information Source: Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), 359.


Photo Source: Library of Congress.

 

 

2  Abby Scott Baker (above)

2 Abby Scott Baker (above)

Abby Scott Baker served in various leadership positions in pro-suffrage organizations. In September 1917, she was arrested for picketing the White House and served a sentence in Occoquan Workhouse.


Information Sources: Doris Stevens, Jailed For Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), 355, and lists of officers published periodically in issues of The Suffragist.


Photo Source: Library of Congress.

 

 

In Prison Uniforms

In Prison Uniforms

Above, from left to right are (3) Doris Stevens,  (4) Alison Turnbull Hopkins and ( 5) Eunice Dana Brannan. They're wearing prison uniforms. I don't know why they're carrying chairs.

All three women were arrested for picketing, some more than once. Usually their sentences were between 45 and 60 days to be served in the Occoquan Workhouse. Usually, they were pardoned before serving the whole sentence.


(3) Doris Stevens (1988-1963) of New York City was arrested for picketing the White House on July 14, 1917 and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in March 1919.

 

(4) Allison Turnbull Hopkins (1880-1951), of Morristown, NJ, was arrested for picketing on July 14, 1917.


(5) Eunice Dana Brannan was arrested for picketing on July 14, 1917, sentenced to 60 days, and pardoned after 3. She was arrested again for picketing on Nov. 10, 1917 and sentenced to 45 days.

Information Source: Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), 356, 361-62, 368.

Photo Source: Library of Congress

 

6 Lucy Burns (above)

6 Lucy Burns (above)

Lucy Burns (1879-1966), of New York City, spent more time in jail (here and in England) than any of the other American suffragists, probably because she led a lot of demonstrations.  Hence, her place of prominence in this collage on the blade of the sword.


In the photo, she's sitting in front of a prison cell, which is possibly in the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia.


Information Source: Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), 356.


Photo Source: Library of Congress

 

7 Lucy Stone (above)

7 Lucy Stone (above)

Lucy Stone (1818-1893), a contemporary ofFrederick Douglass, was a well-known speaker and activist who favored women's rights and the abolition of slavery. She was out-spoken at a time when women were encouraged to be silent. She was the first woman from Massachusetts to graduate from college. She inspired other early feminists including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.


Photo Source: Library of Congress