In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being ratified, which granted women the right to vote in the United States, a giant field of sunflowers is being displayed on the monumental staircase at the FDR Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City.
Emblazoned in the installation, which was created in partnership with Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, the New-York Historical Society and the League of Women Voters, is text from the historic amendment. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” it reads.
The sunflower is a symbol of the suffrage movement.
Valerie Paley, senior vice president, chief historian and director of the Center for Women’s History at the New-York Historical Society, commemorated the anniversary, while also adding that it’s “important to remember that the right to vote was not instantaneously extended to all women in 1920 and that the work for full equality continues to this day.”
The installation, which measures 12 feet by 100 feet, also hopes to emphasize the importance of equal access to voting, especially with the 2020 election right around the corner.
“Four Freedoms Park has found a beautiful way to connect our history of voting rights to the present,” said Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters. “As we commemorate the 19th Amendment this year and work to lift up the significant contributions that Black women and women of color made to the suffrage movement, we do so with an eye towards a future where the power of every woman is recognized and their contributions are valued. The path to equality still begins at the ballot box and we encourage all women to exercise their right to vote this year and find the election information you need at VOTE411.org.”
The installation with be on view until August 20 at the park, which celebrates the Four Freedoms — part of President Roosevelt’s famous Jan. 6, 1941 State of the Union Speech. President Roosevelt pushed for four essential freedoms “everywhere in the world,” including the freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.