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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) to Adelaide Johnson (1859–1955), February 8, 1896. Typewritten signed letter. Susan B. Anthony Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (043.00.00)
Adelaide Johnson (1859–1955). Bust of Susan B. Anthony. White marble sculpture. On loan from The National Woman’s Party at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument (044.00.00)
Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906). Commemorative bookmark. Metal. On loan from Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Initially part of the NAWSA Collection, Library of Congress (006.00.00)

Susan B. Anthony’s Wish Comes True

. . . their busts ought to stand in some of the niches in that mammoth building, the taxes to build which have been wrung from the hard earnings of the women of this nation as well as from those of the men.

—Susan B. Anthony, 1896

Sculptor Adelaide Johnson made several portrait busts of suffragist Susan B. Anthony, the last in 1892 as she prepared to exhibit in the Woman’s Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It is unclear if Johnson displayed this specific bust at the exposition or if this is a later replica made by her. In February 1896, Anthony wrote to Johnson expressing the hope that Congress would purchase the busts exhibited in Chicago for installation in the new Library of Congress building, then under construction and slated to open in November 1897. Unlike Anthony’s books and papers, Johnson’s bust did not come to the Library until now as a loan to this exhibition.

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