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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Alexandra van Grippenberg

b. 1857, Finland; d. 1913, location unknown

Editor, newspaper publisher, and legislator, Alexandra van Grippenberg founded the first official women’s rights organization in Finland, the Suomen Naisyhdistys (Finnish Women’s Association), in Helsinki in 1884. In 1887–88, she traveled in England and the United States, absorbing lessons from the women’s movements of those countries. The tour inspired her book A Half Year in the New World (1889). She served as the treasurer of the International Council of Women from 1893–99. Grippenberg falls on the conservative end of the feminist spectrum. The first parliament following the granting of women’s suffrage in 1906 included nineteen women, nine belonging to the Social Democratic Party, and ten conservatives, including Finland’s most prominent women’s rights activist, Alexandra van Grippenberg.