On this historic election day, women are artfully expressing their enthusiasm and excitement for a woman on the ballot. Some are wearing white, or a pantsuit to the voting booths, others marching to Susan B. Anthony’s grave in the Bronx. Waiting there in line to pay homage for the right to vote, and papering her monument with I voted signs.
In Nashville, Tennessee, the last state to ratify the 19th amendment in the summer of 1920, they are laying yellow roses at the feet of the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument, created by Nashville sculptor Alan LeQuire.
Yellow roses signified support for the suffrage movement in Nashville during the summer of 1920. Those that supported the amendment wore yellow roses, those opposed wore red. A real “War of the Roses.” Leaders of the suffrage movement traveled to Tennessee that summer in support of the vote; as Tennessee voted, so would go the nation.
LeQuire Gallery Director, Elizabeth Cave said, “No one expected Tennessee to vote for suffrage.” Much of the opposition had come from Southern Democrats. Cave said, “basically Tennessee is responsible for carrying the vote.”
The “War of the Roses” was won.
The Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument is one of the only relevant public art works celebrating the vote. It was commissioned by the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument organization and unveiled in 2016. Donations towards the artwork served as membership into the “Yellow Rose Society".
Sculptor Alan LeQuire created the monument, today being flooded with yellow roses, in his Nashville studio. The sculpture honors the five women present during the final ratification battle in 1920: Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville; Abby Crawford Milton of Chattanooga; J. Frankie Pierce of Nashville; Sue Shelton White of Jackson; and Carrie Chapman Catt, the suffrage leader who came to Tennessee to direct the pro-suffrage forces from the Hermitage Hotel.
If you are forgoing your pantsuit, wearing white, and are too far from the Bronx, a yellow rose will win the war.
Regarding the significance his piece has for the history of women's rights, LeQuire has said.
"I always wanted to do statues of real women. The human body is the ultimate subject for an artist, because it’s the one object that carries meaning for everyone, and this fills a void (of statues of women)."
A woman as President will definitely fill a void.