On the 26th of August 1910, Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) made an appeal for an annual women’s day, with general women’s suffrage as the most important initial demand. She made this appeal during the second international conference of socialist women in Copenhagen.
The first celebrations of International Women’s Day took place in 1911, in the years afterwards the number of events grew steadily. International Women’s Day – annually celebrated on the 8th of March – was born.
This lovely portrait of Zetkin was made by the ‘Vrouwen Kunst Kollektief ‘ (Women’s Art Collective). It is one of 34 portraits, painted on canvas, of famous women who fought for peace. The collective was an initiative of Colette Metz-la Croix and Patty van de Lee, as a result of the large peace demonstration of 21 November 1981 in Amsterdam.
In the VKK, female artists, varying in age and of several nationalities, fought together against nuclear weapons, war, fascism, racism and sexism and for a better world by means of visual arts. They participated in exhibitions, events and demonstrations in the Netherlands and abroad, and made collective pieces of work, such as this series of portraits.
Source: Archive Vrouwen Kunst Kollektief (VKK)