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What a Woman may be, and yet not have the Vote

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (published)

  • Date:

    1913 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Suffrage Atelier (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woodcut, coloured by hand

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss A. E. Norris

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case LP, shelf 32

The Women's Suffrage movement in Britain was formalised in 1903 when Emmeline Pankhurst established the Women's Social and Political Union. Voting rights for women over 30 were granted in 1918, but equal rights with men (that is, at age 21) were not granted until 1928. This poster was produced by the Suffrage Atelier, a society formed in 1909, to 'encourage artists to forward the Women's Movement, and particularly the enfranchisement of women, by means of pictorial publications'. The relatively unsophisticated technique of block printing was partly a consequence of limited funds, but it also allowed 'fresh cartoons [to be] got out at very short notice'.

Physical description

Landscape format poster in green red and black on white ground. Two strips of five images each, one above the other.The top with the legend 'What a Woman may be and yet not have the Vote and then the five images: Mayor, Nurse, Mother, Doctor or Teacher, Factory Hand. Below this headed by the legend What a Man may be & yet not lose the Vote five images of: Convict, Lunatic, Proprietor of white Slaves, Unfit for Service, Drunkard.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (published)


1913 (published)


Suffrage Atelier (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Woodcut, coloured by hand


Height: 510 mm sheet, Width: 773 mm sheet

Descriptive line

anon, What a woman may be, and yet not have the vote

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Gravett, Paul and Harris Dunning, John Comics unmasked : art and anarchy in the UK London : The British Library 2014. ISBN: 9780712357357


Body colour; Woodcut


Woodcut coloured by hand

Subjects depicted

Women's Suffrage; Factory hand; Mayor; Nurse; White slave trader; Doctor; Women; Suffrage; Sick people "invalids"; Teacher; Men; Mother; Proprietor of white slaves; Convict; Justice; Lunatic; Slave trader; Drunkards


Propaganda; Politics; Feminism; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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