This exhibition was funded by the Sam and Diane Stewart Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to the J. Willard Marriott Library and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Landscape, Land Art, and the American West.

Special thanks to the women of Utah, past and present, for their contributions to our state.

This exhibition was created by Jessica Breiman, Alison Elbrader, Ashley Farmer, Katherine Kitterman, Sarah Palmer, Jorge Rojas, Naomi Watkins, and Alana Wolf.

In addition to the project team, Joy Goh, Jodi Patterson, Stacey Kelly, Addie Ryder, Maggie Leak, and Emily Izzo lent their invaluable time and expertise. Giuliana Serena provided amazing advice to our storytellers and both she and Lara Jones helped translate the storytelling program (initially planned as an in-person event) into a radio format. Our storytellers are amazing women of action and we thank all of them for sharing their lives with us: Erika George, Ciriac Alvarez Valle, Luna Banuri, Pilar Pobil, and Denae Shanidiin.

Brooke Smart's illustrations of Utah women's advocates were a wonderful addition to this exhibition, and we're grateful to Brooke and Better Days 2020 for allowing us to use them. More information on those illustrations and the full set are available here.

Better Days 2020 is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to popularizing Utah women’s history through art, education, and legislation. We work to share history in creative and communal ways. By exploring the legacy of our past, we make Utah a better place for women in the future.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Utah women casting the first votes in the United States under a women’s equal suffrage law. It also marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which extended women’s right to vote across the country, and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed race-based discrimination in voting laws.

The year 2020 is a unique opportunity to honor the Utah women who paved the way, learn from those who were left behind, and reflect on what we can do to build a legacy of leadership.

The J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections Division serves the University of Utah, the state, and scholars worldwide through its commitment to collect, preserve, and provide access to original primary source material. Rare books, maps, diaries, correspondence, oral histories, unpublished manuscripts, and ephemera reveal the Intermountain West’s past and present and provide unique context to local and global histories. From candid snapshots to formal portraits, home movies to radio programs, the Collection’s audio and visual material relates a rich diversity of experiences in the American west. Within Special Collections, the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women’s Archive documents and preserves the history of women whose lives and work helped create social and cultural change in Utah and elsewhere. Extensive secondary publications support these collecting areas, while a preservation program ensures these treasures are available to future generations.

Landscape, Land Art and the American West is a four year, joint research and scholarly engagement initiative of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the J. Willard Marriott Library. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with matching grants from the University of Utah’s Office of the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and the colleges of Fine Arts, Health, Humanities, and Mines and Earth Sciences, this collaboration capitalizes on the UMFA’s and Marriott’s unique collections, supporting interdisciplinary, collections-based teaching and learning, with the goal of transforming the U into a global resource hub for scholars studying the American west.

University of Utah Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that this land, which is named for the Ute Tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homeland of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes. The University of Utah recognizes and respects the enduring relationship that exists between many Indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands. We respect the sovereign relationship between tribes, states, and the federal government, and we affirm the University of Utah’s commitment to a partnership with Native Nations and Urban Indian communities through research, education, and community outreach activities.


If you would like to provide feedback on this exhibition, please contact us.

Interested in the OmekaS customizations utilized in this exhibition? See the documentation on GitHub! With many thanks to Leah Donaldson for creating these customizations.