Faces of Change: Votes for Women

Laura and George Ridding and Sylvia Pankhurst portrait images

In partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, an incredible array of photographs and paintings are being displayed at The Workhouse celebrating key figures in the national campaign for women’s suffrage.

Faces of Change: Votes for Women exhibition
29 April – 22 July 2018

2018 marks 100 years since some women were granted the right to vote. To honour this milestone, we are illuminating the stories behind historical local women connected to The Workhouse and their struggle for female suffrage. 

The Workhouse is working in partnership with the Women and Power National Trust public programme to present an exhibition of well-known but also rarely seen paintings, drawings and photographs loaned from the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition will also inlcude original photographs and objects from The Workhouse which illuminate the conditions of women’s work at this property.

" The National Portrait Gallery is delighted to have the opportunity to share its collection of portraits of key figures in the campaign for women’s suffrage with three wonderful National Trust properties. Some of the works in the exhibition have special resonance with these properties and it is very exciting to see these stories brought to life through this collaboration."
- Rosie Broadley, 19th and 20th-Century Collections Curator, National Portrait Gallery

Beginning at The Workhouse in Southwell, the exhibition will be seen not only in the context of the working women who joined the campaign but also those whose lives were deeply affected by the lack of political representation. The Workhouse is particularly excited that the exhibition will include an original photograph of Lady Laura Ridding, who was the first female guardian at The Workhouse, a significant Suffragist and supporter of working women’s rights all her life.

" The exhibition has been designed to celebrate key figures in the national campaign for women’s suffrage. From formal paintings to militant propaganda, the portraits on display will complement the unique stories of disenfranchised and working women associated with The Workhouse."
- Jan Overfield-Shaw, Creative and Community Officer at The Workhouse.

The touring display will also feature at Killerton, Devon, (August – November 2018) and Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland, (November 2018 – February 2019.) Your only opportunity to view this collection in The Midlands will be at The Workhouse from 29 April to 22 July 2018. The National Portrait Gallery is holding Rebel Women, a programme that includes displays, a trail highlighting inspirational women in the collection, and a rich programme of events and activities for schools to inspire and engage young people.

The Workhouse is hosting a range of events, this year, alongside the Faces of Change exhibition, as part of our Struggle for Suffrage: Workhouse Women and the Vote programme.