Rebel women

Rebel women

Rebel women

Rebel Women was a year-long season of events at the National Portrait Gallery in 2018 to mark the centenary of women gaining the vote in Britain.

Throughout 2018


The season reflected on the suffrage movement but also focused on pioneering women throughout history and on the contemporary relevance of active citizenship and the ongoing battle for equality. Partnerships and collaborations developed across the year including displays, a trail highlighting inspirational women in the Collection, a rich programme of events and activities for schools to inspire and engage young people.


Votes for Women

A special display Votes for Women (which ran until 3 June 2018) explored the hard-fought campaign for the vote through portraits of the key participants, including paintings of Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett and Dame Christabel Pankhurst, and surveillance photographs of Suffragettes, issued to the National Portrait Gallery by Scotland Yard in 1914.

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Votes for Women: Pioneers

Votes for Women: Pioneers was a complimentary showcase display highlighting Victorian pioneers in the struggle for political representation such as Jane Cobden Unwin and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

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A new Gallery book 100 Pioneering Women features portraits of women from the Collection. From Elizabeth I to Zaha Hadid, the book celebrates the accomplishments of women throughout history, highlighting not only well-known figures but also women whose stories have been forgotten.

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Partnership Exhibitions

In partnership with the National Trust the Gallery loaned portraits from the Gallery’s Collections for Faces of Change: Votes for Women at The Workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire (29 April – 22 July 2018), Killerton, Devon, (4 August – 31 October 2018) and Mount Stewart, Northern Ireland, (November 2018 – February 2019). The touring display presented an overview of the campaign for Votes for Women from the late nineteenth century until 1918 including portraits of key figures. The Gallery’s regional National Trust partners, Montacute House and Beningbrough Hall, also opened new displays as part of the Trust’s Women and Power season.

Rebel Women sponsored by MGallery by Sofitel