Just in time for Women’s Month, the Idaho State Museum is inviting the public to celebrate women in Idaho. A new exhibition featuring women who have left a significant mark on the state’s history, along with their stories of breaking down barriers and leading cultural, political or social change opened Saturday, March 13.
The “Trailblazing Women of Idaho” exhibition illustrates the stories of more than 100 Idaho women, including 20 living trailblazers, who have influenced Idaho’s past, present, and future “through their courage, creativity, tenacity and values,” said a press release about the event. From Sacajawea to Olympic medalist Kristin Armstrong, the women highlighted in the exhibit — and in programming planned throughout the year — are proven trailblazers.
The exhibition runs through November.
“It’s an honor and delight to celebrate the unique and exceptional women who have played an integral role in shaping Idaho, its history and evolution,” said Liz Hobson, museum administrator with the Idaho State Museum. “Each of the barrier breaking women selected had a profound impact on Idaho’s cultural, political, business and academic worlds.”
Sarah Phillips, curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the museum, said there is more to the exhibit than the artifacts represent.“The other takeaway from this experience is an understanding that anyone, regardless of background, can be a trailblazer,” Phillips said. “The exhibit features women who, through their skill, conviction, empathy and determination, have clearly demonstrated the characteristics and capacity to overcome challenge and adversity to affect change.”
The exhibition was developed in collaboration with a statewide advisory committee of women who helped identify and select each trailblazer. The exhibition features more than 100 artifacts, including 64 that have never been on display before and were curated from 22 different individuals or institutions.
The museum is also planning in-person and virtual programming throughout the year that will be centered around these women, including a virtual book club, film screenings and a series of panel discussions.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum requires face coverings to be worn by visitors and staff to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The museum allows public visitation in limited numbers, and timed entry will be available for 50 visitors per hour. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 30 people. Go online for more information or to purchase tickets for admission: history.idaho.gov.