At the 1892-93 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a special building, designed by architect Sophia Hayden, displayed women’s achievements in forty-seven countries.
Called the Woman’s Building, it included murals by such well-known women artists as Mary Cassatt, a library with several thousand books by women, rooms of statistics about women’s work, and hundreds of displays of women’s creations, from embroidery and pottery to scientific inventions.
The building was planned by a “board of lady managers,” made up of middle-class and upper-class white women. African American women, such as activist Ida B. Wells, complained about not being asked to participate in the planning stages.
As part of the world’s fair, an international meeting of women was held in 1893; it was attended by 150,000 people.
Among the 330 women who spoke were long time suffragists Lucy Stone and Susan B. Anthony, social reformer Jane Addams, and African American educators Anna J. Cooper and Fanny Jackson Coppin.
A national organization, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, united some 200 clubs in 1890.