New exhibit honors iconic women of fiction and their fashion

DAVENPORT, Iowa (Sept. 24, 2018) — The Putnam’s newest exhibit, showcasing the fashions, interests and lives of some of literature’s most impactful female characters, has gotten a boost from Humanities Iowa.

The Putnam will open Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions on Oct. 13, with an assist from a $10,000 grant from Humanities Iowa, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Apparel and accessories from the Putnam’s collection dating back to the early 1800s and from as far away as China’s Imperial City will be staged in various vignette displays that tell the story of different heroines. Featured books include “Pride and Prejudice,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “The Help” and “Little Women.”

“Thanks to the generous support of Humanities Iowa, area residents will see the real-life history and culture of fictional heroines, as they spring to life from the pages of books that have endured and empowered,” said Putnam President/CEO Kim Findlay.

“Through the Literary Heroines exhibit, the Putnam intends to connect generations of book-lovers as we celebrate strong women of literature.”


The new exhibit includes a tribute to “Hometown Heroines” through a series of pre-recorded oral history excerpts featuring some successful women of the Quad-Cities.

Videos include oral histories by Regina Tsosie, a Navajo activist for indigenous peoples; Maggie Tinsman, former Iowa State Senator and political activist; and Zenaida Landeros, a Latina who works for women’s empowerment, among other inspiring locals.

Exhibit admission is included in the price of general admission — $9 for adults, $8 for youth (ages 3-18) and free for members. Seniors, college students and military save $1 on admission.

The full list of books from which the exhibit draws inspiration and pays homage to is available at

Clubs and other groups may reserve a time to visit the museum, enjoy a catered luncheon and even take part in a curator presentation. To learn more, contact Relationship Advancement Director Michele Darland at 563-336-7295 or

More information on the Literary Heroines exhibit and featured events such as a Japanese Tea Ceremony on Nov. 3 and Afternoon Tea and a Movie featuring “Little Women” on Nov. 24 can be found at

This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views and opinions expressed by this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the Putnam

The Putnam has been inspiring ideas, dialogue and interaction among people of all ages for 150 years. And today, we’re better than ever with hands-on fun for the whole family. Launch rockets or interact with a robot in the Science Center, “touch the untouchable” in the Augmented Reality Experience, visit our famous mummies in Unearthing Ancient Egypt, climb into a tree house in Black Earth | Big River or go back in time to see our region’s history in River, Prairie and People. Also experience internationally recognized traveling exhibits or take in a movie in the GIANT Screen Theater with a screen towering six stories tall. Our welcoming team is dedicated to helping you discover and explore in a friendly and engaging place.

For more information about current and upcoming events, exhibits and movies, visit

About Humanities Iowa

Humanities Iowa is a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH).  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the exhibit, by speakers, program participants or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Humanities Iowa, their partnering organizations or funders.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher