Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Elusive B. M. Boye Part 2

Bertha Margaret Boye spent her lifetime creating art.  Despite all the accolades and exhibits she did, the only image that I can find of her work is her suffrage poster.
One of the challenges in writing about women is that often, their work was not valued after they died.  Even today as I research local suffragists, it surprises me that so few of their obituaries mention their suffrage work.  

One writer speculated that the woman figure in the suffrage poster was Mexican American and that her cloak was Native American tribal garb.  I haven't found any proof to support that theory.

Bertha's image remains unlike other suffrage illustrations:

There is a spirituality and serenity in her poster; it defies the  stereotypes often used by Antis.

I often refer to Bertha's suffrage poster as "Our Lady of Suffrage" because it reminds me of the statues of the Blessed Mary that were often in the gardens of members of my family.
 I don't know what faith Bertha practiced but I do know that she was active in St. Mary's Catholic church in Ukiah.  She assisted with chaperoning and organizing a girls club called the "League of the Little Flower" at the church.  In 1924, it was reported "she was devoting her time for the next few months, in designing figures and placques for the niches in the new St. Mary's Catholic Church.
The church is now a school of performing arts.
I think she would like that.

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