Smithsonian American women Remarkable objects and stories of strength, ingenuity, and vision from the National Collection

Book - 2019

"A unique, panoramic look at women's history in the United States through the lens of ordinary objects from, by, and for extraordinary women. Featuring more than 280 artifacts from 16 Smithsonian museums and archives, and more than 135 essays from 95 Smithsonian authors, this book tells women's history as only the Smithsonian can."--

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Subjects
Published
Washington, DC : Smithsonian Books [2019]
Language
English
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
248 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
ISBN
9781588346650
158834665X
Other Authors
Jill Lepore, 1966- (writer of foreword), Michelle Anne Delaney (writer of introduction)
  • 1600-1864.
  • Tradition and resistance in a young nation
  • 1865-1920.
  • The road to reform
  • 1921-1948.
  • The rise of the modern woman
  • 1949-1967.
  • Boycotts, sit-ins, and civil unrest
  • 1968-2019.
  • Breakthroughs and backlash.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Smithsonian American Women is the rare reference book that is also unputdownable. Stemming from the American Women's History Initiative and tied to the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, the volume is a demonstration of what there is to mine from the Smithsonian's collections that reflects the lives of women. It covers women famous and obscure, historical and modern. Two-hundred-eighty artifacts, from Seneca women's clothing to the pussy hat, are presented chronologically, most with explanatory essays by museum staffers or researchers. This is a well-put together, well-designed book, so stuffed with information that readers will be tempted to consume it, all at once or in chunks, rather than in the usual, hunt-and-peck way most reference books are read. Introductory essays, color photos and pictures, and some data were not available for review. Nonetheless, the book's widespread and timely appeal encourages any public, school, or academic library to add it to an American history collections. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An inspiring and surprising celebration of U.S. women's history told through Smithsonian artifacts illustrating women's participation in science, art, music, sports, fashion, business, religion, entertainment, military, politics, activism, and more.This book offers a unique, panoramic look at women's history in the United States through the lens of ordinary objects from, by, and for extraordinary women. Featuring more than 280 artifacts from 16 Smithsonian museums and archives, and more than 135 essays from 95 Smithsonian authors, this book tells women's history as only the Smithsonian can. Featured objects range from fine art to computer code, from First Ladies memorabilia to Black Lives Matter placards, and from Hopi pottery to a couch from the Oprah Winfrey show. There are familiar objects--such as the suffrage wagon used to advocate passage of the 19th Amendment and the Pussy Hat from the 2016 Women's March in DC--as well as lesser known pieces revealing untold stories. Portraits, photographs, paintings, political materials, signs, musical instruments, sports equipment, clothes, letters, ads, personal posessions, and other objects reveal the incredible stories of such amazing women as Phillis Wheatley, Julia Child, Sojourner Truth, Mary Cassatt, Madam C. J. Walker, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Till Mobley, Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta, Phyllis Diller, Celia Cruz, Sandra Day O'Connor, Billie Jean King, Sylvia Rivera, and so many more.Together with illuminating text, these objects elevate the importance of American women in the home, workplace, government, and beyond. Published to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, Smithsonian American Women is a deeply satisfying read and a must-have reflection on how generations of women have defined what it means to be recognized in both the nation and the world.