Lives of Their Own: Norm-Defying Women During the Progressive Era (1890-1920)

This exhibit explores the stories of women who did not conform to the pressures placed on middle and upper-middle class white women to pursue traditional romantic relationships with men during the Progressive Era (roughly 1890–1920). Through the use of etiquette books published around the turn of the century, selected articles in Ladies’ Home Journal (1898), and autobiographies of individual women from The College of Wooster’s Mother, Home, and Heaven Collection, it will examine the lives of women whose non-marital status defied the rigid norms set by Progressive Era standards.


Marina Adams, Theresa Dunne, Annabelle Hopkins