Friday, November 23, 2012

In the Capitol Gallery: Threads of the Silk Road

The history of the Silk Road is filled with legendary explorers, wandering armies, pilgrims, spies, merchants, and mercenaries. Its vast 7000-mile network of trade routes from China to the Mediterranean existed for almost 2000 years, connecting the Far East to Europe. This collection of evocative photographs by Edgar Gomez-Palmieri, along with a selection of hats and headdresses, depicts surviving remnants of this great ancient highway and descendants of the historic peoples along its route.

About the Artist
Edgar Gomez-Palmieri worked in Asia as the director of international outreach for the Utah-based Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. During his travels, he took thousands of photographs along the ancient caravan paths known as the Silk Road, from China through the Near East to Europe.

This exhibit is supported in part by Zions First National Bank, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Now through December 20, 2012, on the fourth floor of the Capitol. Admission is free. Visit our website or call 801-538-1800 for more details.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Martha Hughes Cannon: First female senator in U.S.

martha cannon hughesNews reports from yesterday’s election indicate that a record number of women will be serving in the U.S. Senate in 2013. But did you know that one of the first U.S. political barriers to be broken by a woman happened right here in Utah?

In 1896, Martha Hughes Cannon was the first women to be elected to a state senate seat in the United States. Born in Wales in 1857, “Mattie” came to Salt Lake with her family in 1861. Mattie had great ambition and determination, working as a schoolteacher and typesetter in order to earn money for college. She received a degree in chemistry from the University of Deseret in 1875, and she went on to attend medical school at the University of Michigan. In 1882, she received a degree in pharmacy from the Auxiliary School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. She also studied oratory, with the goal of becoming a strong public speaker on issues of health.

Mattie returned to Salt Lake City after graduation, where she worked as a resident physician of Deseret Hospital. Mattie was also actively involved in local politics, particularly on the issues of public health and women’s suffrage. In 1896, the same year Utah attained statehood, Mattie ran for state senate on the Democratic ticket. She was one of five Democrats running from Salt Lake County; her husband, Angus M. Cannon, was among the Republicans running for the same seat. Mattie won the election on Nov. 3, 1896, and she served two terms as a strong advocate for children’s welfare and public health.

For more information on Mattie’s fascinating life, please visit Utah History to Go and KUED.