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TO JANUARY 7
The women’s suffrage movement had a serious image problem at the turn of the century, when female activists were often portrayed as obsessed feminazis out to destroy American society. From 1912-15, three women artists—Annie Lucasta “Lou” Rogers, Nina Allender, and Blanche Ames—helped turn things around with political cartoons that were sharp, witty attacks on the powers that be. These works also stand as some of the first realistic representations of the “new woman” in the popular media. The majority of the 21 works in “Artful Advocacy: Cartoons From the Woman Suffrage Movement” are by Rogers, whose smart, irreverant humor has an edge even by today’s standards. “Fitting a Square Peg Into a Round Hole,” for instance, depicts a group of men unsuccessfully pulling a cubical woman into a circle representing the “woman’s sphere”—an act of suppression that is still all too common. At the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. (202) 783-5000. (Holly Bass)