Nina Evans Allender

Lived:January 1, 1872—April 2, 1957 (aged 85)

Nina Evans Allender was a political cartoonist and suffragist. She served as the official cartoonist for Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party.

Allender was born in Auburn, Kansas, in 1872. Her mother, Eva, left her father and moved to Washington, D.C. with Nina and her sister to work at the Department of the Interior. Allender married an Englishman as a young woman, but he abandoned her after a short while. She then took a job at the Treasury Department and pursued art more seriously. She studied art at the Corcoran School of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and was also active in the Arts Club of Washington.

Allender got involved with the suffrage movement in the early twentieth century. She was particularly active in D.C. suffrage, but also campaigned for Ohio suffrage in 1912. After being approached by Alice Paul, Allender joined the National Woman’s Party. She was one of the key artists in the NWP’s publication, The Suffragist. Between 1914 and 1922, Allender created around 200 cartoons for The Suffragist and its successor journal, Equal Rights. She made countless images depicting women fighting for suffrage and better rights. She created the “Allender Girl,” an attractive, “New Girl”-type suffragist who became a mainstay in many of her illustrations. She also designed the “Jailed for Freedom” pin that was given to women who were jailed for campaigning and picketing for the cause.

Allender remained active in politics until 1946, serving in the NWP’s campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment and on the NWP council. Allender died on April 2, 1957, at the age of 85.

“Propagandist: Nina Allender (1872-1957).” The Library of Congress. The Library of Congress. Accessed January 21, 2020.

Sheppard, Alice. “Political and Social Consciousness in the Woman Suffrage Cartoons of Lou Rogers and Nina Allender.” Studies in American Humor, New Series 2, Vol. 4, No. ½ (Spring/Summer 1985), 39-50.

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