• Jeanine Michna-Bales is a fine artist working in the medium of photography. Her work explores our fundamentally important relationships –...

    Jeanine Michna-Bales is a fine artist working in the medium of photography. Her work explores our fundamentally important relationships – to the land, to other people and to oneself – and how they impact contemporary society. Her work lives at the intersection of curiosity and knowledge, documentary and fine art, past and present, anthropology and sociology, and environmentalism and activism. Her practice is based on in-depth research – taking into account different viewpoints, causes and effects, political climates – and she often incorporates primary source material into her projects.

    She conceives and presents her projects in a way that spark curiosity about a given subject and encourage discourse among audiences of all backgrounds. Whether exploring the darkened stations along the Underground Railroad in Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad (2002 - 2016), a campaign trail for women’s votes in Standing Together: Inez Milholland’s Final Campaign for Women’s Suffrage (2016 - 2020), long-forgotten nuclear fallout shelters in Fallout: A Look Back at the Height of the Cold War in America, circa 1960 (2013 - present), or the invisible epicenters of environmental turmoil through the project Terra Fractura: A Visual Survey of Manmade Earthquakes (2015 - present), her work seeks out places that are hidden in plain sight.

  • Since 2016, Jeanine Michna-Bales has been researching the Suffrage chapter of American history. The project champions a little-known figure who was at the forefront of the suffrage movement in the early 20th century, Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886 – 1916).

  • 12,000-Mile Swing Through the West, 2020 Rand-McNally New Official Railroad Map of the United States and Southern Canada, 1916

    12,000-Mile Swing Through the West, 2020  Rand-McNally New Official Railroad Map of the United States and Southern Canada, 1916

  • Organizing and leading marches on horseback while dressed in white, Milholland helped form the National Woman’s Party. The group mounted a radical campaign for women’s suffrage in the Western states just prior to the 1916 Presidential election in which President Wilson was running for reelection. At that time only 12 states, all in the west, allowed women the full right to vote. Hundreds of women were asked to travel west to appeal to the newly empowered women voters to put aside all other political agendas and unite behind their non-voting sisters back east. Various keynote speakers were chosen to head the campaign including Harriet Stanton Blatch, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s daughter, and Inez Milholland. Although she would never personally benefit from a National Suffrage Amendment, Inez battled chronic illness, lack of sleep and delivered some 50 speeches in eight states in 21 days.

  • Inez began to work for suffrage while still a student at Vassar College when she formed a suffrage society made...

    Inez Milholland Boissevain, wearing white cape, seated on white horse at the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade, March 3, 1913

    Inez began to work for suffrage while still a student at Vassar College when she formed a suffrage society made up of two-thirds of her classmates. Since discussion of suffrage was forbidden on campus by Vassar President Taylor, meetings were held in a nearby graveyard. 

    By profession, Ms. Milholland was a practicing lawyer in New York state. She attempted to enter Yale, Harvard and Columbia University law schools, but was denied admission because she was a woman. She obtained her law degree from New York University School of Law. At the beginning of WWI Milholland became a war correspondent, but was denied access to the front lines due to her gender. She contined to write anti-war articles which led to her censure by the Italian government and her expulsion from the country. 

    In 1915, she was a part of the Henry Ford Peace Ship Expedition that unsuccessfully attempted to broker an end to WWI. Her marriage to foreigner—Eugen Jan Boissevain—in 1913, caused her to lose her American citizenship and forced her to become a citizen of Holland. Even though, she was born and worked in America, she had no protection under the United States government. Of note, men did not loose their American citizenship by marrying a foreign woman.

  • “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

    — 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution

  • Over the course of 70 years, three generations of Americans sacrificed and suffered while working tirelessly to win the vote for American women. Women were never given the vote. They had to fight for it through the involvement of hundreds of thousands of Americans trying to win public support for their cause thereby creating the Women’s Suffrage Movement. 

    Over the course of 70 years, three generations of Americans sacrificed and suffered while working tirelessly to win the vote...
  • From well before the Civil War to 1920, American women were part of a monumental struggle for their own independence. During this long period, women were without a direct political voice and were unable to hold office, have a say in political matters, or even own property. Often they were viewed as either belonging to their fathers or their husbands. And married women had less rights than children. In response, supporters worked state by state challenging male voters to live up to their democratic ideals. And in some states they were successful. By 1916, 12 states—mostly in the west—had some form of suffrage for women. But when the suffragists took the same argument to a national level, they found little support.

  • Standing Together, Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, 2018. The Suffragist, December 30, 1916 and Nevada State Journal, Friday, October 20, 1916
  • There were 40 separate referendum campaigns in 26 states during the early 20th century alone. On the national level, different...
    Room Key, The Palace Hotel, San Francisco, California, 2018

    There were 40 separate referendum campaigns in 26 states during the early 20th century alone. On the national level, different major women’s associations were competing for leadership and squabbling over emphasis and tactics: from prohibition to only focusing on a national amendment and forgoing a state-by-state route. Various strategies were used to turn the tide running the spectrum from traditional to progressive and even militant methods — furthering the confusion and divide that dominated the social movement.

     

  • Traveling with her sister Vida, Inez delivered some 50 speeches in eight states in 28 days. Battling chronic illness and lack of sleep, her four-week itinerary, brutal even by today’s travel standards, consisted of street meetings, luncheons, railroad station rallies, press interviews, teas, auto parades, dinner receptions, speeches in the West’s grandest theaters, and even impromptu talks on trains while on her way to the next destination.

     

    On October 24th, 1916 her last public speech was delivered at Blanchard Hall in Los Angeles. She collapsed on stage and her final public words were, “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?” Her health forced her to cut the tour short and she died 30 days later at the age of 30, making her the sole martyr of the American Suffrage Movement. Inspired by her devotion, the movement continued to grow, and ultimately led to the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment.

  • Ready for Battle, 2019 Autochrome Print 11 x 11 inches Edition of 3
    Ready for Battle, 2019
    Autochrome Print
    11 x 11 inches
    Edition of 3
    • Jeanine Michna-Bales The Campaign Begins, Chicago, Illinois, 2018 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      The Campaign Begins, Chicago, Illinois, 2018
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Hotel Yellowstone, Pocatello, Idaho, 2019 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Hotel Yellowstone, Pocatello, Idaho, 2019
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Women United, 2018 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Women United, 2018
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Mezzanine, Multnomah Hotel, Portland, Oregon, 2019 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Mezzanine, Multnomah Hotel, Portland, Oregon, 2019
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Women Hold Up Half of the Sky, 2019 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Women Hold Up Half of the Sky, 2019
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales A Blustery Day, Montana, 2019 Archival pigment print 36 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      A Blustery Day, Montana, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      36 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Paul Passenger Depot, Great Northern Railroad, Great Falls, Montana, 2019 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Paul Passenger Depot, Great Northern Railroad, Great Falls, Montana, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales The Great Salt Lake, Utah, 2018 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      The Great Salt Lake, Utah, 2018
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Drawing Near the Station, 2018 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Drawing Near the Station, 2018
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Dawn, Nevada, 2018 Archival pigment print 36 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Dawn, Nevada, 2018
      Archival pigment print
      36 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Moonrise, Virginia, City, Nevada, 2018 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Moonrise, Virginia, City, Nevada, 2018
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Headed to a Street Meeting Silver City, Nevada, 2018 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Headed to a Street Meeting Silver City, Nevada, 2018
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Back Down the Mountain at 1 a.m. Outside of Carson City, Nevada, 2018 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Back Down the Mountain at 1 a.m. Outside of Carson City, Nevada, 2018
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Sunset, California, 2019 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Sunset, California, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales A Breath of Fresh Air, California, 2019 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      A Breath of Fresh Air, California, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Triumphant, 2020 Autochrome Archival pigment print 16.5 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Triumphant, 2020
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      16.5 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Pinney Theatre, Boise, Idaho, 2019 Autochrome Archival pigment print 16.5 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Pinney Theatre, Boise, Idaho, 2019
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      16.5 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Arsenic and Strychnine, Sunset Club, Seattle, Washington, 2018 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Arsenic and Strychnine, Sunset Club, Seattle, Washington, 2018
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales A Gift of Flowers, Train Platform, Glenns Ferry, Idaho, 2019 Lumen Archival pigment print 22 x 28 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      A Gift of Flowers, Train Platform, Glenns Ferry, Idaho, 2019
      Lumen Archival pigment print
      22 x 28 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Seeing Purple Everywhere, Nevada, 2018 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Seeing Purple Everywhere, Nevada, 2018
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Strategizing, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, California, 2018 Autochrome Archival pigment print 11 x 11 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Strategizing, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, California, 2018
      Autochrome Archival pigment print
      11 x 11 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Special Flying Envoys, Montana, 2019 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Special Flying Envoys, Montana, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Amber Waves of Grain, Montana, 2019 Archival pigment print 36 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Amber Waves of Grain, Montana, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      36 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Mountain Pass in Fog, Oregon, 2019 Archival pigment print 36 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Mountain Pass in Fog, Oregon, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      36 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales In Transit, Idaho, 2012 Archival pigment print 30 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      In Transit, Idaho, 2012
      Archival pigment print
      30 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Blue Gem, Washington, 2019 Archival pigment print 36 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Blue Gem, Washington, 2019
      Archival pigment print
      36 x 24 inches
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    • Jeanine Michna-Bales Snake River near Twin Falls, Idaho, 2019 Archival Pigment Print 36 x 24 inches
      Jeanine Michna-Bales
      Snake River near Twin Falls, Idaho, 2019
      Archival Pigment Print
      36 x 24 inches
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  • Standing Together retraces the sisters’ journey as a determined Inez persuaded standing-room-only crowds throughout the west to vote for the enfranchisement of women.The visual essay is pieced together using many primary sources and the research directly informs the image choices throughout the series.