Between 1860 and 1880, it became common for American reformers to gather on stages—then called lyceums—to promote abolition, temperance,education reform, and women’s rights. Lyceum associations allowed suffragists to speak. In their lectures, suffragists addressed men and women of diverse backgrounds—across state, racial, and economic divides—and reached wider audiences than through women’s organizations alone. Representative Women is a combinative portrait that brings together seven women who were active on the lecture circuit. The visual power of the image stems from its ability to reveal both the cohesiveness of the movement and the strong individual personalities within it. Clockwise from the top are portraits of Lucretia Coffin Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Livermore, Lydia Maria Francis Child, Susan B. Anthony, and Sara Jane Lippincott, who surround the central figure of Anna Elizabeth Dickinson. At the time, Dickinson was more popular than Mark Twain and held the distinction of being the highest paid woman on the lecture circuit.


  • Title: Representative Women
  • Creator: L. Schamer
  • Date Created: 1870
  • Physical Dimensions: w32 x h41 cm (Image)
  • Type: Lithograph on paper
  • Rights: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
  • External Link: Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence
  • Classification: Print

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