Clio Visualizing History is a nonprofit education organization dedicated to creating innovative online history exhibits that are designed to engage students, assist educators and researchers, and appeal to a wide public audience. Our team includes scholars, teachers, designers, film makers, and students. We are constantly developing new projects and adding content to existing exhibits.

History Exhibits

Visualizing Votes for Women:

Nineteen Objects from the 19th Amendment Campaign

August 26, 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment giving American women the vote. The campaign to win passage of this constitutional right stands as one of the most significant and wide-ranging moments of political mobilization in all of American history. To celebrate this centennial we bring you Nineteen Objects from the 19th Amendment Campaign. Enter exhibit >


Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution highlights the collective action and individual achievements of women from the 1940s to the present, exploring the power and complexity of gender consciousness in modern American life. In the spirit of 1970s consciousness-raising, we take our name from the “click” moment when women (and undoubtedly a few men) discovered the powerful ideas of modern feminism. We hope to provoke comparable moments of truth and understanding for those who click through the pages of our exhibit. Enter exhibit >


Searching for a World War I success story entrepreneurial American journalist, Lowell Thomas, encounters an extraordinary figure in Jerusalem: a British army officer, T.E. Lawrence, who, dressed in Arab robes, had helped capture the Turkish port of Akaba. With a cameraman in tow and a ton of equipment, Thomas follows Lawrence into the desert, turns his footage into a multimedia spectacle seen by millions, and helps create “Lawrence of Arabia.’’ Lawrence’s new celebrity and brilliant mind earn him a seat at the table when the map of the Middle East is redrawn. This exhibit is the story of how journalism can create legends and such legends can make history.
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Picturing the Past: Illustrated Histories and the American Imagination, 1840-1900

Visual images are viewed today as indispensable aids to the study of history, but this has not always been the case. By focusing on the production history of two major illustrated histories from the mid-nineteenth century, this interactive exhibit suggests how visual images gradually became first acceptable, then desirable, and finally indispensable to historical thinking.
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Quilts as Visual History

Close examination of commemorative textiles reveals history and memory intertwined in material culture, with highly selective stories, political sentiments, and visual marks of hardship and trauma. The fabrics, patterns, colors, and stitches in quilts connect relationships, events, and causes, privileging certain war experiences and leaving out others. Although quilts cannot tell the whole story of war, they express significant war-time sentiment and capture unwritten memories.
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Photography Exhibits

Photography is the great divide in the development of visual history. Images captured through a lens shape and alter perceptions of historical memory; they can provide both authentic insights and misleading notions of the past. Clio features one-of-a-kind online exhibits about early American women photographers Frances Benjamin Johnston, Mary and Frances Allen and The Peter Palmquist Gallery, presenting the work of Abigail E. Cardozo, Emma Olive O’Connor, Nellie Tichenor McGraw, and Elizabeth W. Withington.


Frances Benjamin Johnston’s meteoric rise to prominence as one of America’s first and foremost women photographers was propelled in the beginning by her access to the Washington D.C. elite then sustained by her remarkable energy, entrepreneurial skills, and the sheer diversity of her subjects. As a pioneering photojournalist, she left a remarkable visual record of the early 20th century—one that offers rich opportunities for historical and cultural analysis, as well as studies in race, class, and gender. Enter exhibit >


Selectman and His Wife

The photography of sisters Mary and Frances Allen gained national attention with their inclusion in a 1901 series of articles for The Ladies Home Journal by Francis Benjamin Johnston. Identified as among “The Foremost Women Photographers in America,” their work reflects a commitment to photography as art—as a medium for capturing gentle beauty and visualizing the past while reflecting the spiritual dimension of the Arts and Crafts movement. How their lives and photography were affected by their growing loss of hearing adds a unique component to exploring their work. Enter exhibit >


The Peter Palmquist Gallery

The Peter Palmquist Gallery presents the work of four early women photographers from California: Elizabeth W. Withington, Abigail E. Cardozo, Emma Olive O’Connor, and Nellie Tichenor McGraw. This work represents a small fraction of the massive photography collection that Peter Palmquist created during his lifetime. Peter was a remarkably generous and enthusiastic resource for anyone researching photography. This Gallery is Clio’s expression of gratitude for Peter’s enthusiastic support as well as a sense of loss heightened by the tragic nature of his death in 2003. This gallery is dedicated to his memory. Learn more >

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