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Belva Ann Lockwood

Nellie Mathes Horne, 1870 - 27 May 1950
Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood, 25 Oct 1830 - 19 May 1917
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 177.8 x 101.9 x 5.1cm (70 x 40 1/8 x 2")
Frame: 208.3 x 133.4 x 15.2cm (82 x 52 1/2 x 6")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of the Committee for "A Tribute to Mrs. Belva Ann Lockwood" through Mrs. Anna Kelton Wiley, 1917
Object number
Exhibition Label
Armed with a law degree and a fierce commitment to women’s physical education, Belva Ann Lockwood committed herself to the promotion of feminist ideals. She protested being denied the right to teach exercise science to women, and she lobbied for a congressional bill permitting women to argue before the Supreme Court. After its passage in 1879, she became the first woman admitted to practice in that tribunal. Lockwood would later realize that although she could not vote, she could seek public office. She was so well respected that the Equal Rights Party nominated her twice as its candidate for president. Although she was not elected, Lockwood maintained a successful career in law. Among her achievements was a victory for the Eastern Band of Cherokee in 1902, obtaining money that the United States government owed them for the sale of land in an agreement forged in 1838.
Commissioned by the Committee on a tribute to Mrs. Belva Ann Lockwood, Washington, 1913, exhibited Willard Hotel; loaned to National Museum [Smithsonian], 1913; 1917 gift to NCFA; transferred 1966 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 123