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Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo

About the Collection

The Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo, one of the first private clubs for women in the United States, was founded in 1894 "to advance the interests of education, literature and art" (Source: "Twentieth Century Club of Buffalo, History"). Charlotte Mulligan, a teacher, writer, and musician from a well-to-do family was the driving force behind its creation. She envisioned a club rich in tradition, education, and culture, and the elegant Green & Wicks-designed Clubhouse, with characteristic symmetry and balance, is a testament to that vision. It is the oldest women's clubhouse in the country and on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Twentieth Century Club became noted for the many lavish social events held there, but education was, and still is, the primary focus of activity. Starting with an 1894 lecture on Abraham Lincoln, and continuing through the present, the Club has a long tradition of presenting prominent speakers and programs by recognized experts on a wide variety of subjects. From the 19th century, when women couldn't vote and had limited opportunity, to today in the 21st century when possibilities seem limitless, the Twentieth Century Club has truly spanned its namesake century and connected those prior and succeeding. Its history parallels and chronicles not only the history of events in Buffalo, but also that of the enormous societal changes which have occurred in its lifespan.