Women: A Century of Change draws from the acclaimed National Geographic photo archives to showcase a global chronicle of the lives of women. Created to recognize the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote, the exhibition illuminates where women have been, where they are now and where they are going, and celebrates trailblazers who have redefined what it means to be a woman. The more than 70 images depict women from over 30 countries, offering a glimpse into the lives of women worldwide throughout the past century.
The exhibition is divided into six themes: Joy, Beauty, Love, Wisdom, Strength, and Hope, with the collections in each theme evoking a sense of that emotion. From Amy Toensing’s photo of the joy felt between two women participating in India’s traditional Holi festival to Lynn Johnson’s image conveying the strength of women traversing the desert plains of Kenya to bring water to their families, the pictures invite reflection and recognition of the fact that, despite differences and distance, we all experience similar emotions. Interspersed throughout the exhibition are fascinating “Through the Lens” panels that feature behind-the-scenes anecdotes by the photographers on their experiences capturing some of their most compelling shots.
Complementing the exhibition is an additional section, “Portraits of Power,” featuring arresting images of groundbreaking women such as media executive Oprah Winfrey, an activist for gun violence prevention Emma González, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2019 Women’s World Cup champion Alex Morgan, #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke, and philanthropist Melinda Gates.
A companion book, Women: The National Geographic Image Collection, which contains nearly 450 photographs including those in the exhibition, will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
WOMEN is developed and traveled by the National Geographic Society.