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The Vote Road Trip: London Day 2

7/28 We visited four glorious art museums, starting at the Tate Britain, where I had gotten tickets for its marvelous “Van Gogh and Britain” exhibition. Then on to two more “in the footsteps of suffragettes” stops— the massive National Gallery located on Trafalgar Square, in central London. (Our hotel was just off Trafalgar Square, the site of many suffragette speeches and demonstrations. A straight, half mile long street, White Hall, a main thoroughfare for protesters of all ilks, connects Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square. We saw several demonstrations during our stay.)

In The National Gallery, we viewed The Rokeby Venus, also known as The Toilet of Venus, by Diego Velasquez that Mary Richardson attacked with a meat cleaver in 1914 in protest of the recent arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst. Just around the corner in the National Portrait Gallery, we located The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840, by Benjamin  Robert Haydon. That was the convention where the male delegates refused to seat the American women abolitionist delegates, including Lucretia Mott. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was there with her husband, a delegate who is seated is the front row of the painting (second figure on the right). I wrote about that painting in my books Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship that Changed the World and The Vote: Women’s Fierce

Fight. I was astonished at the size ( 12 1/2′ x 9 3/4′) of the painting and noted that the descriptive material made no mention that women delegates were denied participation.

Lastly we went to the Barbican, an arts and learning center, to view the stunning exhibition of the life and work of the pioneer of Abstract Expressionism —“Lee Krasner: Living Colour.” All in all an incredible day. And hurrah for Great Britain and its policy of free museum admission, although donations are requested. The bottom images are an elevator door at the Barbican, the front of the Tate London, Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, and Lee Krasner’s mosaic table. (Click on a picture to enlarge it.)

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