Scarborough Museums Trust celebrate the centenary anniversary of the Women’s vote with a touring exhibition of Sylvia Pankhurst’s artwork


Scarborough Museums Trust are thrilled to host a touring exhibition featuring prominent Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst’s early artwork, opening Tuesday 11th April 2018.

In celebration of the centenary anniversary of women over 30 being granted the right to vote in the UK, a collection of 16 paintings and pastels by Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960) will be put on display in an inspiring exhibition at Scarborough Museum. Sylvia’s famous work as a pioneer for the suffragette movement, and later as an anti-fascist campaigner, often overshadow her abilities as a talented artist. The exhibition aims to open visitor’s eyes to how her powerful art visually supported her argument to increase women’s pay and improve their working conditions.

Sylvia spent much of her life juggling art and campaigning. A tour of the industrial communities in northern England and Scotland in 1907 gave her an opportunity to merge her two passions, resulting in some hugely historical and poignant pieces.


Her captivating artwork allows a look into the type of experiences which help forged her strong socialist beliefs. She recorded the lives of working women in the pottery, shoe-making, fishing and spinning industries with fluid, simple and emphatic portraits and scenes. While her mother, Emmeline Pankhurst pushed the Women’s Social Union (which they created together with her sister Christabel in 1903) into the support of the middle class, Sylvia retained her initial beliefs by continuing her campaign for working-class women. When Sylvia made the decision to devote her life to her political work in 1912, six years before the vote was passed, her focus on art was lost.

This exhibition commemorates change through the medium of art. One hundred years since the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act was passed, it reminds visitors of the importance of Sylvia Pankhurst’s campaigning through her very own compelling artwork.

For more information, please visit This exhibition is Free with a £3 Annual Pass to both Scarborough Art Gallery and Rotunda Museum.