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Free Event: Join us for our Women’s History Month Lecture 2023 – Women’s Suffrage in Art

27 March 2023, 6pm – join us via Teams Live. Book your free ticket.

This year is the 10th annual Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art Women’s History Lecture. We will celebrate the newly acquired portrait of Millicent Garrett Fawcett by Annie Louisa Swynnerton, which now has a permanent public home at UK Parliament. Previously, its whereabouts had been unknown for almost 50 years. In celebrating this important artefact, we’ll explore the relationship between suffragism and the creative arts.

A portrait of a woman in academic robes painted in a realistic style. The sitter is an adult white woman with rosy cheeks, light brown hair combed and tied back, looking directly out at the viewer with parted lips and smiling, bright eyes. She is wearing a black gown with a red and white striped sash which goes over her shoulders and comes to a point at her neck. The gown has 3 red round buttons down the front, wide flowing sleeves, and she wears a white shirt underneath. In her right hand she is holding a feather quill, and she has a ring on her ring finger on her left hand. She is seated in a red seat. The background of the painting is dark, there is the suggestion of a fireplace and a wooden folding screen behind her.
Dame Millicent Fawcett, painting by Annie Louisa Swynnerton ©UK Parliament WOA 7739

At this event you will hear about the life and work of both the subject of the painting and the artist.

Political leader Millicent Garrett Fawcett campaigned for women’s suffrage throughout her life. She was the first woman honoured by a statue in Parliament Square in London.

Artist Annie Swynnerton was best known for her portrait and symbolist works. In 1922, she was the first woman elected to the Royal Academy of Arts since its foundation in 1768. Her work has featured in two high-profile exhibitions over the past three years.

About our speakers

The talk will begin with an introduction from Jess Phillips MP. We will be joined by Dr Emma Merkling, art historian at the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International (Durham University) and Prof. Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage (University of Edinburgh). Our experts will share their special interest in the suffrage movement and its artistic representations, and discuss the artwork, before answering questions from the audience.

How to Join the Event

This hybrid event will be held at Parliament with a small group of guests, and you are invited to join online as part of a much wider audience.

The event takes place on 27th March 2023 at 6pm. Book your free ticket.

The event is hosted as a Microsoft Teams Live Event which you can access through web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. Safari is not currently supported. You do not need a Microsoft account to join the event.

The event lasts for 60 minutes in total, and you can ask questions via the chat function. These will be put to the speakers at the end. We will send full details of how to join the event online following registration.

Further information

Read more about the acquisition of this portrait on the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art webpages.

View this portrait in greater detail on it’s object record page.

March 10, 2023