Field of sunflowers exhibit takes over Four Freedoms Park to honor 100 years of women’s suffrage

Posted On Tue, July 21, 2020 By

Posted On Tue, July 21, 2020 By In Art, Roosevelt Island

Courtesy of FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

A massive field of sunflowers has been installed at the monumental staircase at FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. The park’s new exhibit, which was created together with the New-York Historical Society and the League of Women Voters, comes ahead of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification and aims to symbolize the continued push for full equality today. The installation measures 12 feet by 100 feet and features text from the amendment, which was ratified on August 18, 1920: “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.”


Courtesy of FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

“We’re proud to join Four Freedoms State Park in this commemoration of the 19th Amendment,” Valerie Paley, senior vice president, chief historian, and director of the Center for Women’s History at the New-York Historical Society. “It’s also 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 display also hopes to highlight the four freedoms outlined by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a 1941 speech, including freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The park sees the sunflowers as a symbol of the suffrage movement and the push for equal access to voting, especially ahead of the 2020 election.

Last year, Four Freedoms Park unveiled #AscendWithPride, the largest Pride flag in the city installed on the monumental staircase in honor of World Pride. The latest exhibit is part of the Conservancy’s celebration of human rights in a visual way.

“Four Freedoms Park has found a beautiful way to connect our history of voting rights to the present,” Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters, said. “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.”

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