Faces of Change: Votes for Women

Past national programme archive
29 April - 22 July 2018

The Workhouse, Southwell

Sylvia Pankhurst
by Sylvia Pankhurst
circa 1907-1910
NPG 4999

In partnership with the National Trust, the Gallery presents a touring exhibition to three properties – The Workhouse, Killerton and Mount Stewart – as part of the women’s suffrage anniversary.

The exhibition presents an overview of the campaign for Votes for Women from the late 19th century until 1918. Photographs, prints, drawings and paintings from the Gallery’s collection will be displayed with some of the items from each property’s own collection which brings portraiture and places together to share stories that neither partner can tell as fully on their own.

Some special objects including surveillance photographs of militant suffragettes, issued to the National Portrait Gallery by Scotland Yard during the height of militant violence will be on display, alongside rarely seen portraits of key figures including suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia. Also included are portraits representing the legacy of the suffrage campaign, including a drawing of Nancy Astor, the first woman to take her seat as MP in the House of Commons, by John Singer Sargent.

Beginning at The Workhouse in Southwell, the exhibition explores the context of the working women who joined the campaign, whose lives were deeply affected by the lack of political representation, as well as titled women who played a key role in forcing through change, including Lady Laura Elizabeth Ridding, the first female guardian of The Workhouse Southwell and a founding member of the National Union of Women Workers.

Find out more

This special display has been developed in partnership with the National Trust as part of the Gallery’s Rebel Women season of events and the National Trust’s Women and Power programme.