Lela Autio Education Gallery, Lobby, and Atrium
"Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex." —Equal Rights Amendment
MAM is proud to present this exhibition of large-scale black and white portraits by Missoula artist Kristi Hager depicting the women who populate her life. This exhibition takes place during the centenary observation of women’s suffrage and the 47th anniversary of the Equal Rights Amendment. Considered the largest reform movement in U.S. history, the campaign for women’s voting rights lasted more than seven decades and resulted in the passing of the 19th amendment in 1920, which advocates saw as essential to achieving economic, social, and political equality.
The Equal Rights Amendment, first passed by the House in 1971 and Senate in 1972, has yet to be ratified. Hager says, “I thought it would be ratified in my lifetime, but it continues to be a work in progress. It is the legal part of what humans want: political, social, and economic equality. Full equality is the work of lifetimes.” Hager began this series by painting her great grandmother, mother, goddaughter, friends, and a hero, but the exhibition, as the title suggests, is a work in progress, with portraits continuing to be added to the series. Hager says, “We stand on the shoulders of giants and we are asked to be giants for the next generation. Our time here is short but important.”