Women's Pavilion at the Columbian Exposition Essay example
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The Women's Pavilion
The Columbian Exposition was notable for its impressive architecture and large international attendance. Of particular importance was the Women's Pavilion. The first of its kind to have been designed by a female architect, it revealed much about the social plight of women at that time, and the need for further progress in the movement for equal rights. While its existence did not trigger significant changes for the Women's Movement, this pavilion was certainly a promising first step that would set a precedent for women's involvement in later years.
All aspects of women's involvement in the Chicago fair were overseen by the Board of Lady Managers. This governing body, the first of its kind, had authority over…show more content… Those that were in the field also received little public acknowledgement. At this Philadelphia fair, November 7th was chosen was "women's day", based on the assumption that the women should take advantage of the fair while the men were casting their ballots. This angered the suffragettes, who proceeded to boycott the fair. The women's pavilion placed "...particular emphasis on those activities generally acknowledged to be within the women's sphere" with little information in the areas of science and discovery. (Greenhalgh, 175) Most of the art work done by women was nowhere to be found in the women's pavilion, but instead was in the main Fine Arts building.
While the Board of Lady Managers was supposed to have "general charge and management of all interests of women in connection with the Exposition", they were denied a say in the selection of the actual architect. (Ralph, 170) This decision instead was made by a board of men. In order to select the architect, work was examined from fourteen distinguished women in the field. It is noted that none of these applicants was over the age of twenty-five. The woman who was chosen was Sophia Hayden, who had just