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Taking the Lead: Women and the White Mountains

Image Courtesy of the New Hampshire Historical Society:

About this exhibition

Museum Exhibition Dates: April 7, 2016 – October 7, 2016

Exhibition Locations: Museum of the White Mountains, Main Gallery

Opening Reception: April 6, 6-7:30pm

Curatorial Team: Marcia Schmidt Blaine and Cynthia Robinson

Online ExhibitionView Here

Exhibition Catalog:  Read here (pdf)

Listen to first-hand accounts from today’s Women of the WhitesHere

Exhibition Press Release: Read here (pdf)


Ever since the White Mountains regions became part of the national consciousness, women as well as men have been drawn to them.  What may surprise people is how often women have been leaders in the regions: from farm wives to climbers, from early hikers to modern businesswomen, from early conservationists to today’s environmentalists.  The mountainous region gave women a place to explore their talents and creativity uninhibited by the constraints of urban life.

In the nineteenth century, female tourists opened up and popularized trails, explored the natural world, and wrote of the beauty, challenges, and discoveries they found in the mountains.  In the twentieth century, women connected the White Mountain region to the larger world,  while pushing the limits society imposed on them. Using art, letters, maps, clothing, and photographs, “Taking the Lead” will explore the role women played and continue to play in shaping and popularizing the region.

Educational Materials

Middle School (pdf)
High School (pdf)

Exhibition Design:

Cynthia Robinson


This exhibition was made possible with support from the Jocelyn Gutchess Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and the New Hampshire Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at