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SIPGPO_140116_01.JPG: Morgan Freeman
Handsome, lanky, and blessed with an immediately recognizable voice, Morgan Freeman is one of the most distinguished contemporary actors of both stage and screen. He won early plaudits in the plays Coriolanus (1980) and Driving Miss Daisy; he reprised his role in the latter in the 1989 movie adaptation. Freeman's transition to film was seamless -- he has also worked in television -- and he was nominated several times for an Academy Award before winning an Oscar for his role in Million Dollar Baby (2004). Freeman works almost constantly, and among his more notable roles are as an African American soldier in the Civil War drama Glory (1989) and as the convict "Red" in the cult classic The Shawshank Redemption (1994), in which he also provides the narration. Freeman's great pipes have made him a sought-after narrator of cartoons and documentaries. In 2007 he achieved a longtime dream by making a bio-pic about Nelson Mandela.
Ross Rossin, 2012
SIPGPO_140116_11.JPG: Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron
"Hammering" Hank Aaron was one of the greatest players in major league history. He was scouted at sixteen and played Negro League baseball before signing with the Milwaukee (later, Atlanta) Braves, for whom he debuted in 1954. A perennial All-Star and the league MVP in 1957, Aaron was remarkably consistent: in a twenty-three-year major-league career he never hit more than fifty homers in a season but always ranked near the top of the hitting statistics. A compact six-footer, Aaron generated tremendous bat speed with his extraordinary reflexes. In 1974 he broke Babe Ruth's seemingly impregnable record of 714 career home runs. Aaron's chase of Ruth's record generated some hate mail but was widely celebrated as a sign of racial progress in the New South. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982, Aaron has had an estimable post-baseball career doing charitable and civic work in Atlanta.
Bulgarian-born artist Ross Rossin met Aaron in Atlanta through the city's former mayor, Andrew Young, whose portrait he also painted.
Ross Rossin, 2010
SIPGPO_140131_009.JPG: American Origins
America's origins do not begin at a specific date, nor do they involve one particular group of people. When the United States became an independent nation in 1776, different peoples had lived in its lands for centuries. Following Christopher Columbus's arrival in the so-called "New World" in 1492, immigrants came to America in search of new riches, new freedoms, and new beginnings. As early as 1619, enslaved Africans also began arriving on America's shores. In subsequent centuries, as individuals from around the globe have settled here, the country's diversity has grown further.
In many respects, the United States is always beginning anew. Here in this exhibition, you will meet those who shaped their times, from the colonial era through the Revolution and the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Each contributed in extraordinary ways to the country's continuing reinvention.
SIPGPO_140131_011.JPG: America by Arnoldo di Arnoldi, c 1600
SIPGPO_140131_026.JPG: Thus in the beginning all the World was America.
-- John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1689
SIPGPO_140131_062.JPG: George Whitefield, 1714-1770
Renowned for his Old Testament oratory, English evangelist George Whitefield was a leading figure in the wave of religious revivalism that swept America in the 1730s and 1740s. The son of innkeepers, Whitefield first traveled to America in 1738, where he embarked on missionary work and established a successful orphanage and school in Georgia. During several extended visits to America, he traveled widely and became one of the most publicized figures of the fervent religious movement known as the Great Awakening. Although many Anglican leaders disapproved of Whitefield's methods, his sermons stimulated new religious zeal throughout the colonies. Benjamin Franklin once observed that Whitefield's voice was so powerful that it could be heard at the outermost fringe of a crowd of 30,000 and that its eloquence had moved the normally skeptical Franklin to empty his pockets "wholly into the collector's plate, gold and all."
John Greenwood, after Nathaniel Hone Mezzotint, 1769
SIPGPO_140131_070.JPG: James Honyman, 1675-1750
James Honyman, an Anglican minister in Rhode Island during the first half of the eighteenth century, began his career in England as a missionary preacher with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. In 1704, he was recruited to take charge of the newly established Trinity Church in Newport. Given Rhode Island's religious tolerance at the time -- a legacy of Roger Williams's work -- the colony was home to many antiestablishment religious sects. Although many early settlers moved there to get away from the Church of England, Honyman's leadership proved that diverse religions could coexist in relative harmony. Over a forty-six-year career in Newport, Honyman made Trinity one of the most influential Anglican churches in colonial America. English engraver Samuel Okey created this posthumous mezzotint portrait when he lived in Rhode Island.
Samuel Okey, after ? Gains Mezzotint, 1774
SIPGPO_140131_077.JPG: The United States by Rand McNally & Company, 1898
SIPGPO_140131_148.JPG: Alfred Lord Tennyson, modeled by 1899
William Ordway Partridge
SIPGPO_140131_155.JPG: John C. Calhoun, about 1844-45
SIPGPO_140131_163.JPG: The history of American democracy has been one of increasing participation and inclusiveness. America transformed itself from thirteen states along the narrow line of the eastern seaboard, governed by elites, to a vast continent, governed by a large and heterogeneous population. One of the great achievements of this past century was a series of successful campaigns to strike down long-standing segregationist practices and discrimination in American society. While these changes ultimately became enacted in the nation's courts and legislatures, the struggle to secure them was principally fought where intolerance reigned. As such, the nation's polls, buses, schools, and countless other places became battlegrounds in the crusade for equal rights. The figures represented in this exhibition were important catalysts during a period that witnessed historic changes concerning the status of women, Native Americans and other ethnic groups, gays and lesbians, and the disabled.
Most striking perhaps was the progress achieved by African Americans. Although born in an earlier century, the civil rights struggle reached a crescendo in the 1950s and 1960s. Its triumphs recast the contours of American society and contributed to ongoing campaigns being waged to bring equal opportunity to all Americans. Although not without setbacks, this expanding inclusiveness continues to be the defining characteristic of American democracy.
SIPGPO_140131_174.JPG: Octavius V. Catto, 1839-1871
Born Charleston, South Carolina
Octavius V. Catto gave his life in the struggle to secure civil rights for African Americans. Educated at the Colored Youth Institute in Philadelphia, where he later served on the faculty, Catto founded several major civic institutions, including Philadelphia's Banneker Literary Institute and the Equal Rights League. During the Civil War, he worked with Frederick Douglass to recruit African Americans into the Union army. A vigorous advocate for the civil rights amendments of the Reconstruction Era, Catto was shot to death by a Democratic Party operative on October 10, 1871, the same day that African Americans were voting in the first Philadelphia election held after ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.
Broadbent and Phillips, c 1871
SIPGPO_140131_188.JPG: Susette LaFlesche Tibbles, 1854-1903
Born Bellevue, Nebraska
An important advocate of Native American rights, Susette LaFlesche Tibbles was raised on the Omaha reservation in Nebraska. She worked as a teacher before becoming involved in a study of social conditions among the Plains tribes. She was accompanied in this work by Thomas Tibbles, a newspaper editor whom she married in 1887. Galvanized by the terrible conditions she observed, "Bright Eyes," as she came to be known, served as an expert witness and worked as an interpreter in court cases that Native peoples brought against the federal government. She also received widespread fame as an orator, speaking out about the lack of rights afforded tribes.
Jose Maria Mora, c 1879
SIPGPO_140131_195.JPG: Frederick Douglass, 1817-1895
Born near Easton, Maryland
Frederick Douglass's skill as an orator, political savvy, and impressive bearing made him one of the most influential African Americans in the nineteenth century. During the 1840s and 1850s, the abolitionist rhetoric of this ex-slave who had escaped bondage best articulated the evils of slavery to white sympathizers and made the case for the need to fulfill the Constitution's promise of equality. Douglass's growing frustration following the Fugitive Slave Act, and his friendship with the radical John Brown, eventually led him to advocate resistance to the law and even violence, forcing him to flee the country briefly. Douglass returned to America with the coming of the Civil War, his hopes revived.
George Kendall Warren, 1876
SIPGPO_140131_204.JPG: Brooklyn Dodgers, 1955
Brooklyn Dodgers 1955
In the 1940s and 1950s, Branch Rickey, the co-owner of the Brooklyn, Dodgers, assembled one of the greatest teams in baseball history. This team picture from 1955 -- the year Brooklyn won its only World Series -- includes Pee Wee Reese, Carl Furillo, Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Carl Erskine. At the team's heart, however, was Major League Baseball's first African American player, Jackie Robinson (back row, standing at far right). Rickey carefully selected Robinson (1919–1972) to "break the color barrier," not only because of "Robbie's" talent, but because he had faith in Robinson's inner strength. He made Robinson promise not to respond for one year to racist taunts from fans and players. Robinson was rookie of the year in 1947. In his ten years as a Brooklyn Dodger, he led the team to six pennants and a World Series victory and ended his career with a batting average of .311.
Unidentified artist, 1955
SIPGPO_140131_225.JPG: Craig Rodwell, 1940-1993
with John Timmins, Dick Leitsch, and Randy Wicker
This photograph shows four members of the Mattachine Society in 1966, including Craig Rodwell-pictured facing the camera with his eyes downcast-demanding to be served at Julius's Bar in Greenwich Village. At the time, many bars refused to sell liquor to gays because New York regulations forbade the practice. This so-called "sip-in" by Rodwell and other activists was intended to call attention to this and other forms of discrimination against the gay community. Moving to New York at the age of eighteen, Rodwell emerged as one of the most prominent and aggressive gay rights activists of the period. He moved the Mattachine Society in a more confrontational direction and insisted that the movement be part of the general civil rights and liberation movements of the 1960s. He was a major figure in the "Stonewall" riots of 1969 and later founded what became the first Gay Pride parade.
Fred McDarrah, 1966
SIPGPO_140131_240.JPG: Russell Means, 1939-2012
Born Pine Ridge, South Dakota
Having helped to found the American Indian Movement in 1968, Russell Means became the most visible leader for Native American rights during the late 1960s and 1970s, a period of increased activism among tribal communities. A Lakota tribesperson who was raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Means sought to make the plight of Native Americans known by staging highly publicized demonstrations at such symbolically laden locations as Plymouth Rock, Mount Rushmore, and Alcatraz Island. In 1972 he led a group that occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington DC, and the following year he was at the center of an armed standoff with government authorities in the reservation town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, where in 1890 more than 350 Lakota men, women, and children had died during a conflict with the US Army. A charismatic and controversial figure, Means later became an actor, a writer, and a painter.
David Michael Kennedy, 1999
SIPGPO_140406_01.JPG: Armory Show 1913:
In February 1913, the opening of the International Exhibition of Modern Art at New York's 69th Regiment Armory brought forth wildly varied reactions in the press. The exhibition, which introduced avant-garde European art to the United States, was a dramatic event; the more debate it stimulated, the more influence the exhibition and its artists garnered. President Theodore Roosevelt, who viewed art as an agent of cultural advancement, famously denounced the European modernism in the Armory Show (as it became known), likening the cubists to the ploys of PT Barnum. He reproached European artists for using shock to fleece money from the public with the sale of their work. The electrifying story of the Armory Show is central to the history of modern art in America, and the cast of characters involved in organizing, promoting, and financially supporting perhaps the most important exhibition ever held in the United States deserved recognition on its one-hundredth anniversary. This end of the gallery features a selection of portraits of some of the Armory Show's key participants, including Walter Pach, the influential co-organizer of the exhibition, whose portrait by Jacques Villon is a recent acquisition.
SIPGPO_140406_05.JPG: Walter Pach, 1883-1958
Most stories about the Armory Show play down Walter Pach's significant role, focusing mainly on his involvement as an agent for the European artists in the exhibition. As an art critic, historian, lecturer, agent, and champion of modernism, Pach was a driving force behind the pivotal 1913 show, along with Walt Kuhn and Arthur B. Davies. Pach's presence in the transatlantic contemporary art world -- with one foot in the United States and the other in Paris between 1903 and 1913 -- shaped the arc of the show. During this time, he befriended influential artists and thinkers, including the French cubist painter and printmaker Jacques Villon, who was the younger brother of Marcel Duchamp. In his sensitive ink-and-pencil sketch, Villon captures an introspective man who considered himself primarily an artist. The drawing is a study for Villon's oil portrait of Pach, now in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Jacques Villon, 1932
SIPGPO_140406_17.JPG: George Luks, 1867-1933
"He is Puck. He is Caliban. He is Falstaff," said art critic James Gibbons Huneker of George Luks, who was as famous for his gutsy personality as for his energetic paintings of urban life. William Glackens suggested Luks's mercurial temperament with rapid brushwork in this 1899 painting when the two were roommates in New York City. Along with Glackens, Robert Henri, John Sloan, and Everett Shinn, Luks, who began his career as a newspaper illustrator, chose to depict the unglamorous -- and sometimes sordid -- reality of urban life. Initially, disapproving critics dubbed them the Ashcan School. Walter Pach, organizer of the Armory Show, was a great supporter of both Luks and Glackens, and helped promote the artists in critical reviews. Pach began his interaction with Luks years before the Armory Show, when he encouraged the artist to capture the contemporary life of the United States, just as Édouard Manet had attempted with success in Paris.
William Glackens, 1899
SIPGPO_140406_23.JPG: Marcel Duchamp. 1887-1968
Jacques Villon's etching of his younger brother reflects the moment when Marcel Duchamp's reputation began to eclipse Villon's own. Villon had nurtured his brother's artistic ambitions, enabling his participation in the 1913 Armory Show; Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, the most notorious work in the show, was largely the reason for the exhibition's great success. In 1967 Duchamp explained how he came to be invited to the Armory Show: "Walter Pach . . . had come to France in 1910, and he made friends with my brothers, through whom we met. Then, in 1912, when he was entrusted with the task of gathering paintings for that show, he saved a lot of room for the three of us."
Jacques Villon, 1953
SIPGPO_140406_35.JPG: John Quinn, 1870-1924
Born to Irish immigrants, John Quinn established his reputation in his twenties as a brilliant lawyer in New York. His deep interest in contemporary literature led him to collect first editions of the work of John Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, Douglas Hyde, and other contemporary Irish writers. In time, Quinn's literary interests shifted to modern art, and he soon became a significant collector. Armory Show organizer Walter Pach served as an art adviser to Quinn, who ultimately made his first art purchase at the 1913 show and continued to collect art based on Pach's recommendations. Summarizing the importance of the Armory Show at its opening, Quinn said, "it . . . [is] time the American people had an opportunity to see and judge for themselves concerning the work of the Europeans who are creating a new art."
John Butler Yeats, 1908
SIPGPO_140406_42.JPG: Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919
If ever an American became president on the strength of his personality, it was Theodore Roosevelt, a dynamo by the standards of any age. "I always believe in going hard at everything," he declared. Roosevelt's energy was seemingly limitless, and he channeled it in a wide variety of interests and activities: he was a political maverick, civic reformer, Rough Rider (as depicted here), governor, sportsman, naturalist, historian, and man of letters. In 1900, the Republican Party nominated him to run as William McKinley's vice president, and together they easily won the election. As Roosevelt feared, his official duty of presiding over the Senate did not occupy his time and energy, and he complained privately that the office of the vice president should be abolished. Yet McKinley's assassination changed everything. As Mark Hanna, a staunch McKinley adviser lamented, "that damned cowboy is president now."
Charles Dana Gibson, 1898
SIPGPO_140504_04.JPG: Norman Bel Geddes 1893-1958
Visionary industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes was best known for creating the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair. He helped popularize the streamlined aesthetic in the 1930s and 1940s by designing products ranging from sleek cocktail shakers to teardrop-shaped cars. The 1939 fair was dedicated to "building the world of tomorrow," and Bel Geddes's installation at the General Motors pavilion showcased a one-acre scale model of a futuristic city populated by 500,000 buildings and 50,000 cars that moved on automated highways. Spectators sat above the diorama on seats that moved along a conveyor belt to give them an airplane-like view of the city. The exhibit drew crowds of 30,000 visitors a day and was the smash hit of the fair. Another lasting Bel Geddes contribution was the book Magic Motorways, a 1940 study that foreshadowed the Interstate Highway System.
Paolo Garretto, 1940
SIPGPO_140504_10.JPG: Pauline Morton Sabin, 1887-1955
This elegant drawing of Pauline Sabin was published to illustrate the May 8, 1932, New York Times Magazine article "A Woman Crusader for the Wet Cause." Sabin led a group of wealthy, stylish, and politically savvy women, who -- after seeing the rise of organized crime, speakeasies, and other results of life under Prohibition -- worked relentlessly to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment and renew the public sale of alcohol. In 1929 Sabin founded the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform, which grew to more than one million members, making it the largest anti-Prohibition organization in the country. Detractors harped on Sabin's success; one writer called the WONPR members "the scum of the earth, parading around in skirts, and possibly late at night flirting with other women's husbands at drunken and fashionable resorts." By 1933, public opinion had shifted, and Prohibition was repealed upon ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.
Samuel Johnson Woolf, 1932
SIPGPO_140504_20.JPG: George S. Kaufman, 1889-1961
Preeminent Broadway playwright George S. Kaufman collaborated with newcomer Moss Hart in 1930 to create Once in a Lifetime. In this wicked satire, three small-time vaudevillians go to Hollywood to make their fortune teaching elocution to tongue-tied screen actors during the early days of talking pictures. Caricaturist Ralph Barton captured Kaufman (back left) and two of this hit's stars, Jean Dixon and Hugh O'Connell, during the play's run of 406 performances. For his next show, Kaufman collaborated with George and Ira Gershwin on Of Thee I Sing, which in 1932 became the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize. Kaufman's other successes include Animal Crackers, Cocoanuts, The Royal Family, You Can't Take It with You, and The Man Who Came to Dinner.
Ralph Barton, c 1931
SIPGPO_140504_25.JPG: Damon Runyon, 1880-1946
Damon Runyon had a wonderful ear for dialect, and his short stories depicting Times Square in the 1920s and 1930s left an indelible mark on American culture between the wars. His Times Square denizens were a mix of hustlers, gamblers, gangsters, and chorus girl "dolls." They spent their nights in Broadway bolt-holes and communicated in a colorful slang that became known as "Runyonesque." His short stories were hugely popular, and twenty of them were made into films, including Little Miss Marker, which made Shirley Temple a star in 1934. Runyon's biggest success came posthumously, with Frank Loesser's 1950 musical, Guys and Dolls; Loesser drew on two of his stories and showcased such quintessential Runyon characters as Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson, Nicely Nicely, and Miss Adelaide. The show ran for 1,200 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.
William Auerbach-Levy, c 1935
SIPGPO_140628_059.JPG: John Jeffries
John Jeffries established a medical practice in Boston around 1770, but his Loyalist sympathies led him to serve in the British army and, in 1779, to move his family to England. Falling in love with balloon flight, he financed two voyages for himself and Jean Pierre Blanchard in 1785. Jeffries wished to make scientific and meteorological observations on the flight, and purchased instruments for that purpose. His Narrative of the voyage, which was published in the spring of 1786, included this engraving with a barometer and text that details the dangers the aeronauts experienced before their successful landing in France.
Caroline Watson, after John Russell, 1786
SIPGPO_140628_082.JPG: D.W. Griffith, 1875-1948
The son of a Kentucky slave-owner, D. W. Griffith is best remembered for Birth of a Nation (1915), which depicted the Reconstruction-era South as terrorized by carpetbaggers and freed slaves, with the Ku Klux Klan as the savior of womanhood. Griffith used quotes from Woodrow Wilson's 1903 History of the American People to support his story. Wilson screened the film at the White House -- the first time a full-length movie was thus honored. Notwithstanding protests led by a nascent NAACP and bans in several cities because of fears about white on black riots and lynchings, Birth of a Nation was immensely popular, reflecting the dismal state of race relations in America. To this day it is praised for its technical virtuosity and epic quality, along with its intensely personal stories of individuals caught up in historic events. Griffith enhanced many of the era's new film techniques and integrated them within powerful spectacle and narrative, making him one of the pioneers of modern film.
Frank Diem, 1921
SIPGPO_140628_085.JPG: John Reed, 1887-1920
In 1913 journalist John Reed attracted national attention with his sympathetic articles on the Mexican Revolution. Later, as a foreign correspondent, he was fired for his fierce denunciations of World War I, a criminal offense under the Espionage Act of 1917. Reed then went to the Soviet Union, met with Lenin, and joined the regime's Bureau of Revolutionary Propaganda. On his return to America he wrote a dramatic eyewitness account of the Russian Revolution, Ten Days That Shook the World. It sold well and made him a national celebrity. In 1919 Reed organized the U.S. Communist Labor Party and later that year traveled to Moscow to gain the Soviet Union's recognition. Unable to return to the United States because of the Red Scare, he died in Moscow and is buried in the Kremlin. Reed was celebrated sixty years after his death in Warren Beatty's film Reds.
Pirie MacDonald, c 1916
SIPGPO_140628_104.JPG: Colleen Moore, 1902-1988
Silent screen star Colleen Moore, featured in such films as The Perfect Flapper and Flaming Youth, set new fashions for liberated females of the 1920s, underscoring the impact of moving pictures. But when Batiste Madalena made this hand-painted poster for the film Lilac Time in 1928, the movie industry was experiencing rapid change and growth. The first "talkies," synchronizing dialogue with moving images, predicted the end of the silent era, and the building of grand "movie palaces" reached a peak, luring new middle-class audiences to feature-length films. In the advertising image for Lilac Time, the artist featured crisp art deco lettering, geometric styling, diving airplanes, and Colleen Moore's classic bobbed-hair flapper look, even though she plays a curly haired French country girl to Gary Cooper's World War I aviator.
Batiste Madalena, 1928
SIPGPO_141014_011.JPG: The Struggle for Justice
SIPGPO_141014_014.JPG: Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 1862-1931
The daughter of former slaves, Ida B. Wells sued the Chesapeake, Ohio, and Southwestern Railway in 1883 after being dragged from her seat for refusing to move to a segregated railcar. Her anger over this incident spurred her to begin contributing articles to black-owned newspapers; she became part owner and editor of the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight in 1889. After three black businessmen were lynched in Memphis in 1892, Wells launched what became a four-decade-long anti-lynching crusade. She vigorously investigated other lynchings and published her groundbreaking treatise on the topic, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases.
Mary Garrity, c 1893
SIPGPO_141014_025.JPG: Alexander Graham Bell, 1847-1922
Born Edinburgh, Scotland
Inventor Alexander Graham Bell sparked a communications revolution when he patented the telephone in 1876. But Bell considered his work with the deaf to be his true calling. Born to a deaf mother and a father renowned for his work in enunciation, Bell adapted his father's work -- a visual, symbolic alphabet for use in producing spoken sounds -- for use in teaching speech to the deaf. He opened a teacher training school and became a leader in the education of the deaf. Bell's teaching speech to the deaf was not viewed favorably by all; many advocates thought signing was the appropriate language for the hearing-impaired.
Unidentified photographer, c 1895
SIPGPO_141014_041.JPG: Josiah Henson, 1789-1883
Born Charles County, Maryland
A key part of the antislavery movement was that African Americans began to speak for themselves, providing direct testimony about life under slavery. With his wife and four children, Josiah Henson was able to escape from bondage in 1830, settling in Canada. He became a minister, was active in the Underground Railroad, and published a memoir, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Narrated by Himself (1849). Harriet Beecher Stowe drew on the memoir for Uncle Tom's Cabin, and her saintly character Uncle Tom may have been modeled on Henson; during a tour of England, where this portrait was taken, Henson was called "Uncle Tom" by the newspapers.
Bradshaw and Godart, 1876
SIPGPO_141014_049.JPG: Mary Ashton Rice Livermore
Born Boston, Massachusetts
Mary Livermore's career during the Civil War exemplified the emergence of women as both a moral and practical force for reform, a force that altered the political landscape of the late nineteenth century. Livermore, who was strongly religious, plunged into charitable and public works to aid wounded and disadvantaged soldiers. Starting as a volunteer, she became a key figure in the movement to create a national "sanitary commission" to look after these soldiers. Following the war, Livermore transferred her energies to the fight for women's rights. She founded a suffrage newspaper and served as president of the American Woman Suffrage Association (1875–78).
A.N. Hardy, c 1880
SIPGPO_141014_058.JPG: Mary McLeod Bethune, 1875-1955
Born Mayesville, South Carolina
The fifteenth of seventeen children born to her formerly enslaved parents, Mary McLeod Bethune believed deeply in education as the main route out of poverty for herself and other African Americans. In 1904 she founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute -- a school for black girls in Daytona, Florida. By 1929 that institution had blossomed into Bethune-Cookman College. But perhaps Bethune's greatest impact came in the mid-1930s with her service as an adviser for the New Deal's National Youth Administration, which had been established to aid the jobless youth of the Depression. She used her position as a platform to become a powerful voice against racial discrimination throughout the federal government. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an order in 1941 requiring equal consideration for African Americans seeking jobs in the government and in the nation's defense industries, there was little doubt that Bethune's lobbying had played a major role in bringing it about.
Winold Reiss, c 1925
SIPGPO_141014_070.JPG: Carrie Chapman Catt, 1859-1947
Born Ripon, Wisconsin
Carrie Chapman Catt's organizational talents are credited with making the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) an effective force in winning the struggle for women's right to vote. In NAWSA, she worked with such leaders as Susan B. Anthony to win the franchise state by state, and also for a constitutional amendment. Initially condemning America's flood of immigrants, whom she believed were influenced by their paternalistic Old World cultures to vote against women's suffrage, Catt eventually discarded such xenophobic simplifications, founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, and became a crusader for internationalism and world peace. In 1900 she replaced Anthony as president of NAWSA and was again elected president in 1915, leading the organization during the successful passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, which guaranteed all American women the right to vote.
Mary Eliot Foote, 1927
SIPGPO_141014_077.JPG: Rosa Parks, 1913-2005
Born Tuskegee, Alabama
As a boycott of Montgomery, Alabama's racially segregated buses entered its third month, Rosa Parks was arrested for the second time. One of 115 black Montgomerians -- including Martin Luther King Jr. -- to be indicted by the county grand jury on charges of violating a 1921 Alabama law prohibiting boycotts, Parks was taken into custody and jailed on February 22, 1956. Although the Montgomery Improvement Association quickly posted Parks's bail, this wire service photo of the dignified seamstress being fingerprinted by Deputy Sheriff D. H. Lackey appeared the next day on the front page of the New York Times and ran in countless newspapers across the nation.
Unidentified photographer for the Associated Press, 1956
SIPGPO_141014_084.JPG: Andrew J. Young, born 1932
Born New Orleans, Louisiana
Andrew Jackson Young was educated at Howard University and earned a divinity degree at the Hartford Seminary. While serving as pastor of a church in Marion, Alabama, in the mid-1950s, he was drawn to the civil rights struggle. Young studied Gandhi's doctrine of nonviolence and applied it to African American peaceful protests. He soon joined Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference, working to register African American voters. In 1964 he became its executive director, where he helped organize peaceful protests and became one of King's principal lieutenants. He was with the civil rights leader when King was shot in Memphis in 1968. Young was elected to three terms in Congress, was mayor of Atlanta, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter administration. He has since immersed himself in philanthropic work and has written several books about his experiences in the civil rights movement.
Ross Rossin, who emigrated from Bulgaria in 2001, has created a photorealistic portrait that gives the viewer an unadulterated image of a man whose face shows a lifetime of experience.
Ross R. Rossin, 2009
SIPGPO_141014_091.JPG: Richard Loving, 1933-1975
Mildred Loving, 1939-2008
Born Caroline County, Virginia
In 1963 Richard and Mildred Loving went to court to challenge the Virginia law that made their interracial marriage a crime. After marrying in Washington, D.C., in 1958, the couple returned to live in Virginia, where they were jailed for violating the state's Racial Integrity Act. The Lovings pleaded guilty but received suspended sentences, contingent upon their leaving the state and not returning together for twenty-five years. They moved to Washington but longed to be reunited with their families in Virginia. In 1963, with the help of lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, the couple sought to have their convictions and sentences set aside. When the trial judge in Virginia upheld the judgment against them and pronounced the Lovings guilty of "a most serious crime," the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear their case. On June 12, 1967, the Court issued a unanimous opinion that state laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional.
Grey Villet, 1965
SIPGPO_141014_121.JPG: Martha Stewart, born 1941
Born Jersey City, New Jersey
Inspired by the upscale catering business she launched from her Westport, Connecticut, home in 1976, Martha Stewart developed a multimedia lifestyle empire that has made her one of the most successful businesswomen in American history. The popularity of Stewart's first book, Entertaining, and subsequent magazine, Martha Stewart Living, spawned a series of illustrated publications and products that fueled the market for her personal brand of glorified domesticity -- "a vision of grace and creativity in a world full of haste and shoddy goods." In 1997 Stewart consolidated her popular magazines, syndicated television series, and other marketing ventures under the corporate umbrella of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Stewart's career faltered when she was convicted on charges stemming from an insider trading probe; David Levine's drawing satirizes her much-publicized appearance in court carrying an expensive crocodile bag. But Stewart rebounded and remains a highly effective purveyor of lifestyle concepts and products.
David Levine, 2004
SIPGPO_141014_132.JPG: Clarence Thomas, born 1948
Born Pin Point, Georgia
Clarence Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court by President George H. W. Bush, becoming the second African American to serve on the court. Raised by his grandparents in Savannah, Thomas briefly considered a religious vocation before attending Holy Cross and then Yale Law School. Thomas was influenced by conservative legal thinkers and writers, gravitating toward the Republican Party. After service in the Reagan administration, President Bush named him a federal judge. After only a year on the bench, Thomas was elevated to the nation's highest court in 1991. His confirmation hearings became a partisan flashpoint after he was accused by a former employee, Anita Hill, of sexual harassment. Thomas denied the complaint, and he was confirmed by a narrow margin. But the issue remains a topic of contention in the political landscape. Thomas has been extremely reticent to speak during oral arguments, perhaps because of the hostility he was subjected to during his confirmation hearings.
Dennis Black, 1991
SIPGPO_141014_142.JPG: Norman Schwarzkopf, 1934-2012
Born Trenton, New Jersey
Following in the footsteps of his father, Norman Schwarzkopf set his sights on a military career after graduating from West Point in 1956. A heroic incident during his second tour of duty in Vietnam in 1970 "firmly cemented his reputation as an officer who would risk his life for the soldiers under his command." Schwarzkopf, on hands and knees, courageously led a group of survivors from his battalion who were trapped on a minefield to safety. Yet Schwarzkopf did not come to national attention until the 1991 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. As commander-in-chief of U.S. forces in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he masterfully planned the strategy and oversaw the preparations for a sustained air attack, followed by what would be a one‑hundred‑hour ground war and total rout of the Iraqi army.
Harry Benson, 1991
SIPGPO_141014_150.JPG: Jhumpa Lahiri, born 1967
Born London, England
In recalling her father's warning that a writing life was not a secure one, Jhumpa Lahiri wrote, "I listen to him, and at the same time I have learned not to listen, to wander to the edge of the precipice and leap." Her first book, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. As a child growing up in Rhode Island, Lahiri remembers the important role that books and stories played in her visual and psychic landscape. Her father, a librarian and later a professor, filled the house with books. Her grandfather's vibrant storytelling on her first visit to India contributed to a passion for reading. Later, novels became a way of "trespassing" on the American culture that was foreign to her immigrant parents.
Artist Raymond Elman chose to portray Lahiri in by the sea in Cape Cod, a setting that he describes as "universal."
Raymond Elman, 2012
SIPGPO_141014_167.JPG: Julie Otsuka, born 1962
Born Palo Alto, California
Prize-winning writer Julie Otsuka posed for Philip Grausman when she was an undergraduate at Yale University and Grausman was on the faculty. Memories of growing up in California and hearing stories of her grandfather's arrest after Pearl Harbor and the subsequent internment of her grandmother, uncle, and mother led Otsuka to write novels charting the experience of Japanese Americans. She has commented on the link between the "visual" characters that populate her novels and her training as an artist. Grausman's graceful lines and delicate modeling capture a contemplative view of Otsuka, who describes her writing as "deeply internal."
Philip Grausman, 1986
SIPGPO_141014_180.JPG: Senator Dionisio "Dennis" Chavez, 1888-1962
Born in Los Chavez, New Mexico
Born to a family with deep Southwestern roots, Dennis Chavez was the first native-born Hispanic elected to the U.S. Senate. Although his schooling was cut short by his need to help support his family, he took night courses and worked for the city of Albuquerque as an engineer and later as a newspaper editor and translator. A job as a Spanish interpreter for a New Mexican politician led him to a job in Washington and a law degree from Georgetown. He entered the New Mexico legislature and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1930, serving two terms. Chavez was appointed and then won a special election to the Senate in 1936; he won the 1940 election and served until he died. He was a solid, responsible senator who paid particular attention to his state and its people.
New York's Puerto Rican community presented this portrait to Chavez to commemorate his twenty-fifth anniversary in the Senate.
Francisco Passalacqua, c 1960
SIPGPO_141014_187.JPG: Dizzy Gillespie, 1917-1993
Born Cheraw, South Carolina
Jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie first gained fame in the early 1940s, but his talent and staying power were such that he was still a dynamic presence on the music scene six decades later. Gillespie was barely out of his teens when he joined Cab Calloway's legendary big band in 1939, yet the maturity of his playing was already undeniable. His solos enlivened many of Calloway's recordings, and Gillespie's innovative arrangements laid the groundwork for his future experiments in rhythm and composition. After meeting jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker in Kansas City in 1940, Gillespie joined Parker, pianist Thelonious Monk, and other young musicians in freewheeling jam sessions that spawned a new, energetic form of jazz known as bebop. Emerging rapidly as one of bebop's greatest practitioners, Gillespie also played a pivotal role in introducing Afro-Cuban jazz to worldwide audiences. He toured extensively and was hailed as modern jazz's most ebullient ambassador.
Yousuf Karsh, 1990
SIPGPO_141014_194.JPG: Huey Newton, 1942-1989
Born Monroe, Louisiana
Born in Louisiana, Huey Newton was named after the populist firebrand governor of the state, Huey Long, and he did his best during a tempestuous -- and sometimes violent -- political career to live up to his namesake's reputation. The Newton family moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1945, and Oakland would always be Huey Newton's home and the center for his political activities. As a college student, Newton co-founded the Black Panther Party with Bobby Seale in 1966; Newton was the party's minister of defense. The Panthers represented the split in the civil rights movement that was emerging as a younger, more militant generation became politically conscious and active. The Panthers preached community organization and self-defense, and expressed contempt for older civil rights groups like the NAACP. Violence stalked Newton from his days as a street criminal to his ultimate killing by a rival political group.
James E. Hinton, Jr., 1967
SIPGPO_141014_204.JPG: Billie Jean King, born 1943
Born Long Beach, California
The winner of thirty-nine Grand Slam singles, doubles, and mixed-doubles titles (including twenty Wimbledon crowns), tennis great Billie Jean King has long championed gender equity both on and off the court. King made her Wimbledon debut in 1961, and by 1966 she was tennis's top-ranked American player. In 1968 -- the first year that Wimbledon opened competition to professionals as well as amateurs -- King turned professional and captured the All-England singles and doubles titles. Frustrated that professional tennis staged few women's matches and that the prize money women received was a fraction of that bestowed upon male players, King helped launch the Virginia Slims women's tennis circuit in 1970. She became a founding member and first president of the Women's Tennis Association in 1973. That year she struck a blow for women everywhere by trouncing former tennis champion and self-proclaimed male chauvinist Bobby Riggs in the match touted as the "Battle of Sexes."
Lynn Gilbert, 1979
SIPGPO_141014_210.JPG: Norman Borlaug, 1914-2009
Born Saude, near Cresco, Iowa
Plant geneticist and pathologist Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for both his scientific breakthrough in developing "high-yielding short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat" and his humanitarian work in placing the "new cereal strains into extensive production to feed the hungry people of the world." This achievement made Borlaug a central figure in what was called the "green revolution," a series of scientific advances resulting in massive increases in the world's food production. Borlaug viewed his work as providing "a temporary success in man's war against hunger and deprivation, a breathing space in which to deal with the population monster." Created in the year in which he won the Nobel Prize, this photograph pictures Borlaug in a Mexican wheat field, holding bunches of the so-called "miracle" wheat that he developed by crossing a native Mexican strain with a Japanese dwarf variety.
Arthur B. Rickerby, 1970
SIPGPO_141014_221.JPG: Arthur Miller. 1915-2005
Born New York City
Arthur Miller was one of the most influential playwrights of the twentieth century, celebrated for his dramas of social conscience. He is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Crucible (1953), a play about the Salem witch trials inspired by Miller's hatred of McCarthyism. He continued to write dramatic works, short stories, and essays for the rest of life, and his masterpieces are still staged frequently. Miller and sculptor Philip Grausman were friends and neighbors in rural Connecticut. Critic Hilton Kramer found Grausman's refined portraits fascinating, noting that "their surfaces have an astonishing clarity and finish, and they have a haunting physical presence."
Philip Grausman, 1972
SIPGPO_141014_231.JPG: Bruce Springsteen, born 1949
Born Long Beach, New Jersey
In the early 1970s, Bruce Springsteen honed his musical chops in north Jersey bars and roadhouses, writing songs and creating a sound that became the anthem for disaffected suburban and working-class Americans. Springsteen's populism, in songs like "Born to Run" and "10th Avenue Freezeout," caught the romanticism of rock and roll but also a deep vein of populism in the dignity and respect his music paid to the lives and aspirations of ordinary Americans. Initially dismissed as derivative of Bob Dylan or Van Morrison, Springsteen created music that merged lyrical introspection with a powerhouse sound that made his concerts an ecstatic experience. Simultaneously, Time and Newsweek covers in 1975 vaulted "The Boss" and his E Street Band to national attention. Springsteen continues to be a powerful presence both in the American songbook and as a performer.
This Annie Leibovitz photograph was used as a poster for Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A" concert tour in 1984.
Annie Leibovitz, 1984
SIPGPO_141014_237.JPG: John Young, born 1930
The only astronaut to have piloted four types of spacecraft -- the Gemini, the Apollo Command Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the space shuttle -- John Young enjoyed a long and productive career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In addition to walking on the moon as commander of Apollo 16, Young helped inaugurate the nation's space shuttle program, which featured a reusable spacecraft, and served as commander of the shuttle Columbia in April 1981. This life study of Young by portraitist Henry Casselli, a participant in NASA's art program, features the astronaut in his "snoopy cap," just prior to donning his helmet for Columbia's maiden voyage. Shortly after the flight, Young was recognized for his service with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the nation's highest spaceflight award.
Henry C. Casselli Jr., 1981
SIPGPO_141014_246.JPG: John Glenn, born 1921
Born Cambridge, Ohio
A military pilot who distinguished himself in World War II and the Korean War, John Glenn came to widespread public attention as one of the Mercury Seven, the original group of astronauts chosen to participate in the American effort to explore outer space. In 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. Retiring from the space program two years later, he participated in a number of successful business ventures and in 1970 was elected as a senator from his native Ohio. Over the next several decades, he became one of the Senate's most respected and influential members. In 1998, at the age of seventy-seven, Glenn became the oldest astronaut to fly in space. This watercolor sketch, made from life by Henry Casselli, captures the astronaut in a moment of reflection just before his 1998 launch.
Henry C. Casselli Jr., 1998
SIPGPO_141014_262.JPG: Willem de Kooning, 1904-1997
Born Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Willem de Kooning was one of the most important artists in post–World War II America, forming -- with Jackson Pollock and others -- the Abstract Expressionist movement that influenced art worldwide. De Kooning emigrated illegally from Holland in 1926, worked as a housepainter, and then became associated with Arshile Gorky, who was a crucial figure in teaching modern art with an American spin. De Kooning was never exclusively an abstractionist, and much of his work, such as his famous "Woman" series of the 1950s, combined abstract and figurative elements. Here the artist is depicted by his wife Elaine, a fine painter in her own right, who also combined formal methods. Elaine had been de Kooning's student; they married in 1943. Although the couple eventually divorced, Elaine returned to take care of de Kooning during his difficult last years.
Elaine de Kooning, 1952
SIPGPO_141014_268.JPG: Bella Fishko, 1913-1995
Born Odessa, Russia
Art dealer Bella Fishko founded the Forum Gallery in New York City in 1961, which she managed until 1988 when she retired, succeeded by her son. The gallery, long a mainstay of the art world, was known for its representation of leading figurative artists even during an era when portraiture and figuration was considered by some critics to be out of fashion for progressive artists. Fishko gave Gregory Gillespie, the artist of this image, his first solo exhibition at the Forum Gallery. Gillespie surrounds the slightly frightening likeness with his own diminutive portrait and some of his own paintings. As one critic noted, Gillespie "is not simply a Surrealist, a Hyperrealist, or a Photorealist; rather, he is himself an assemblage, taking elements from everywhere and transforming them in his deeply personal way."
Gregory Gillespie, 1987
SIPGPO_141014_279.JPG: Jonas Salk. 1914-1995
Jonas Salk built his career on developing vaccines against influenza and polio. In the 1940s he helped revolutionize immunology by developing vaccines that did not expose recipients to the disease itself. In 1947, as America confronted a polio epidemic, Salk turned to finding a vaccine for the disease, reporting successful results by 1953; by 1955 the Salk vaccine was in widespread use and dramatically diminished the impact of polio, especially among children. Salk never claimed a patent for the vaccine, asking "Could you patent the sun?"
Edmond Romulus Amateis, 1966
SIPGPO_141014_294.JPG: The Byrds
Nothing galvanized the youthful counterculture of the mid-1960s like rock music. The Byrds, a group originating in Los Angeles, brought to the scene an influential folk-rock style, fusing contemporary folk music with energetic Beatles-like harmonies and a driving twelve-string guitar sound. Their debut single, "Mr. Tambourine Man," had topped the charts in 1965. This poster from 1966, featuring band members David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Michael Clarke, and Christopher Hillman, advertised the Byrds' appearance at one of impresario Bill Graham's famous concerts at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium. The Fillmore posters designed by Wes Wilson, with their offbeat colors and sinuous letters, successfully evoked the multisensory experience of many such events, which were often charged with high-decibel music, light shows, frenetic movement, and mind-expanding drugs. The words "Fly 8 Miles High," using the title of the Byrds' new hit single, herald the psychedelic rock era.
Robert Wesley Wilson, 1966
SIPGPO_141014_301.JPG: Frank Sinatra, 1915-1998
Born Hoboken, New Jersey
Singer-actor Frank Sinatra, one of the most dominant American entertainers of the twentieth century, was a teen idol crooner in his twenties and a critical success in his thirties. After launching an Oscar-winning film career, reviving his reputation as a singer after a slump, and gaining "rat pack" celebrity, he was, by age fifty, a cultural icon. Ed Sorel's drawing of Sinatra, depicting the singer at a peak moment of popularity and influence, appeared on the cover of the April 1966 issue of Esquire magazine. It accompanied Gay Talese's article, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," a celebrated example of "New Journalism" that described the extensive entourage that enabled his recordings and his concert, nightclub, radio, television, and film appearances. "A Sinatra with a cold," Talese argued, "can, in a small way, send vibrations through the entertainment industry and beyond."
Edward Sorel, 1966
SIPGPO_141014_312.JPG: Marilyn Monroe, 1926-1962
The 1953 film Niagara helped the young Marilyn Monroe become a legendary sex symbol who is still deeply embedded in the American psyche. In Niagara, Monroe plays an adulterous wife scheming to murder her depressed war-veteran husband. Monroe dominated the film, projecting into her character a sympathetic complexity, provocative sexuality, and naive vulnerability as she underestimates her violent spouse. With its lurid text and romance-novel illustration, however, the poster promotes her sex appeal alone, undermining her talent and setting the marketing strategy that would define her career. Although Monroe consistently transcended the dumb blonde stereotypes she played in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch, she chafed against the restrictions on her roles. The traumas of multiple marriages and emotional stress ultimately ended in her death by a drug overdose in 1962, but her tragic history and luminous physicality left an enduring mark.
Unidentified artist, 1953
SIPGPO_141014_321.JPG: Fanny Brice, 1891-1951
Recalling how she had once reduced co-workers to tears with false tales of her poverty, Fanny Brice knew early on that the stage was her proper milieu. But when she finally entered the world of professional entertainment, it was comedy, not pathos, that proved to be her forte. Upon seeing her parody of the dance of Salome, producer Florenz Ziegfeld immediately hired her for his Follies of 1910, where her genius for satiric mimicry won her overnight stardom. Of the many characterizations Brice created, the most famous was "Baby Snooks," an incorrigibly demonic child that she first played in 1912 and would later reprise on the radio. This photograph by Ziegfeld Follies photographer Alfred Cheney Johnston shows Brice in a glamorous light that is at odds with the cross-eyed, grimacing awkwardness that was the trademark of her stage persona.
Alfred Cheney Johnston, 1918
SIPGPO_141014_328.JPG: Platinum Print Photography:
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a dedicated cadre of American photographers sought to distance their creative practice from the formulaic output of the nation's commercial photography studios. By using a variety of techniques to produce highly expressive works, these camera artists strove to win recognition for photography as a fine art medium. Inspired by the example of avant garde photographer Alfred Stieglitz, they achieved evocative results by softening their cameras' focus and adding handwork to their negatives or prints. These innovative photographers also rejected ordinary gelatin silver prints in favor of less common printing mediums such as the platinum print.
The image in a platinum print is formed within the fibers of the paper, rather than in a glossy emulsion on its surface. The printing paper is sensitized to light by the application of a solution of salts of iron and platinum. After exposure through a negative, it is developed chemically via a process that removes the iron salts and transforms the platinum salts into platinum medal. Characterized by its wide tonal range and matte surface, a platinum print's appearance can be altered by various methods, including secondary processing or the application of wax of chemical toners. Platinum printing remained popular until the close of World War I, when a sharp rise in the cost of platinum made the process prohibitively expensive.
SIPGPO_141014_342.JPG: Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910
Born New York City
Author of the North's unofficial Civil War anthem, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," Julia Ward Howe balanced multiple identities as a mother, poet, playwright, peace advocate, and tireless promoter of women's rights. While raising six children, she sought ways to participate in public life, eventually becoming a leader of the suffrage movement. Although her husband, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, head of Boston's Perkins Institute for the Blind and an active leader in abolitionism, did not support his wife's public activism, she made her voice heard through publishing. In 1870, she founded Woman's Journal, a suffragist weekly magazine. Subsequently, she founded and served as president of the Association for the Advancement of Women. New York portrait photographer Alice Boughton met Howe in Boston at the end of Howe's life for a brief portrait session. Boughton captures Howe's keen intellect, a quality that defined her as she laid the groundwork for the feminist movement.
Alice Boughton, 1908
SIPGPO_141014_354.JPG: Gertrude Käsebier, 1852-1934
Born Des Moines, Iowa
Gertrude Käsebier, one of the founding members of the Photo-Secession and the first photographer to be profiled in Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Work, earned a reputation at the turn of the twentieth century for reimagining the creative possibilities of portrait photography. Käsebier trained to be a painter at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute but decided to pursue photography instead. Although she was married with three children, she opened a professional studio in Manhattan, where she soon attracted many of the day's leading artistic and literary celebrities. Refusing to use the painted backdrops and contrived poses that many portrait photographers employed, Käsebier adapted lessons from her study of modern art to craft portraits that were rich in character and psychological insight.
Baron Adolph de Meyer, 1903
SIPGPO_141014_359.JPG: Katharine Nash Rhoades, 1885-1965
Born New York City
Katharine Nash Rhoades left her prominent New York family for an extensive European tour with two friends, sculptor Malvina Hoffman and painter Marion Beckett, when she was twenty-three. Although she had taken private art lessons since the age of nineteen, her travels abroad solidified her desire to pursue a career as an artist. On her return, Alfred Stieglitz published her poetry in his periodical, Camera Work. When he exhibited her Fauvist paintings at his 291 gallery in 1915, critics noted that she had "not been studying with any one, but [has been] in Paris, and that has been enough." This is one of multiple photographs that Stieglitz made of Rhoades at the time of her exhibition at his gallery, shortly before he met and photographed Georgia O'Keeffe. The print belonged to Rhoades and remained in her family until it was presented to the National Portrait Gallery.
Alfred Stieglitz, 1915
SIPGPO_141014_378.JPG: Emma Goldman, 1869-1940
Born Kovno (now Kaunas), Lithuania
A charismatic labor and feminist activist, Emma Goldman advocated for "direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral." Emigrating from Russia in 1885, she worked in a Rochester, New York, sweatshop, an experience that inspired her to organize against those whom she perceived as exploitative. During the explosive 1890s, as anarchism and other forms of radicalism flourished, she led strikes, boycotts, and acts of civil disobedience, and was frequently arrested or harassed by authorities. In 1906 she and her lover and political partner Alexander Berkman founded Mother Earth, a monthly magazine devoted to various anarchist causes. During the Red Scare of 1919, American officials deported Goldman, and she spent much of the rest of her life living in exile in Europe. This photograph by California modernist Margrethe Mather was likely taken during one of Goldman's frequent lecture tours.
Margrethe Mather, c 1915
SIPGPO_141014_383.JPG: Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1864-1952
Born Grafton, West Virginia
After pursuing the study of painting and drawing in Europe and the United States, Frances Benjamin Johnston set her sights on a career as a journalist-illustrator. But then she discovered the potential of the camera, and by the late 1880s she was intent on becoming America's first female photojournalist. Early picture stories that first earned her distinction documented the Pennsylvania coal industry and New England shoe manufacturing. At the Paris Exposition of 1900, Johnston's photographs of public education in Washington, D.C., and of life at the Hampton Institute, a Virginia school for African American students, earned her a gold medal. In her later years, she became well known for her architectural photography. Evidence suggests that this likeness was taken in Venice in the summer of 1905 and that it was the work of Johnston's traveling companion, Gertrude Käsebier, who had built a substantial reputation as a portrait photographer.
Attributed to Gertrude Kasebier, 1905
SIPGPO_141014_395.JPG: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, 1884-1980
Born New York City
The daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, once said, "I have no sense of humor, just a sense of irony." Known as "Princess Alice" during her father's years in the White House, she later noted, "I was the daughter of an enormously popular president, and . . . I looked upon the world as my oyster." In 1906 she married Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Cincinnati, who later became Speaker of the House. With her command of politics, celebrated wit, and supreme grace, Alice remained in the limelight of Washington society for more than seven decades.
Prominent Seattle photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis first photographed President Roosevelt and his family in 1904. He returned to Washington in 1906 to photograph Alice at the time of her marriage. That same year, President Roosevelt contributed an essay to the first volume of Curtis's The North American Indian, an ambitious publication documenting Native American life.
Edward Sheriff Curtis, 1906
SIPGPO_141014_409.JPG: Isamu Noguchi, 1904-1988
Born Los Angeles, California
Born to an Irish American mother and a Japanese father, Isamu Noguchi became interested in sculpture while studying medicine at Columbia University in the 1920s. He worked at Constantin Brancusi's studio in Paris and began sculpting portraits when he returned to New York City in 1929.
George Gershwin was an early patron, but Noguchi didn't win widespread recognition until 1938, when he completed a large-scale sculptural entrance to the Associated Press building in Rockefeller Center.
Outraged over the treatment of Japanese Americans in World War II, Noguchi volunteered to be placed in an Arizona internment camp for seven months in 1942. While there, he sculpted a marble bust of Ginger Rogers, writing her that he wished "for one last sitting. . . . I hope you will like the way it has turned out."
She did. Rogers showcased the sculpture at her home until her death, when it was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery.
George Platt Lunes, c 1935
SIPGPO_141014_417.JPG: Letter from Isamu Noguchi to Ginger Rogers, July 14, 1942
While he was interned in Poston, Arizona, Isamu Noguchi wrote Ginger Rogers about the bust she had commissioned from him. She arranged for Noguchi to come to her house in mid-December 1941, to initiate the artwork. In her 1991 memoir, Ginger: My Story, she wrote, "We had all his materials and tools moved up to a specially prepared floor above the tennis court and the pool." He worked there for a month.
Rogers was preparing for her upcoming film role as Roxie Hart and was wearing "the pageboy bob hairstyle Louise Miehle had designed for me. . . . It was this hairstyle that Noguchi sculpted."
SIPGPO_141014_425.JPG: Ginger Rogers, 1911-1995
Born Independence, Missouri
Ginger Rogers won the Texas State Charleston Championship in 1925 at the age of fourteen and then promptly embarked on the vaudeville circuit. By 1928 she was playing the Paramount Theatre in New York City; two years later, she became a Broadway star in Girl Crazy (1930). Hollywood then beckoned, and she partnered in nine films with Fred Astaire, bringing a silvery glamour to Depression-era America in such movies as Gay Divorcee (1934) and Swing Time (1936). Other important films included Stage Door (1937) and Lady in the Dark (1944). She received a Best Actress Oscar in 1940 for Kitty Foyle.
Isamu Noguchi, 1942
SIPGPO_141014_440.JPG: Jesse Owens, 1913-1980
Born Oakville, Alabama
Adolph Hitler intended the 1936 Berlin Olympics to be a grand statement celebrating "Deutschland Uber Alles." But Jesse Owens, a grandson of slaves, heroically interrupted Hitler's intention to make the games a showcase for Aryan supremacy.
A track and field star at Ohio State, Owens had broken five world records in 1935, but these were just a prelude for his Olympian performance a year later. Photographed by documentary filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl as he competed in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, Owens broke or equaled nine Olympic records and set three world records. Most important, he won four gold medals -- in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay, and the long jump.
In 1950 an Associated Press poll voted Jesse Owens the greatest track and field star of the first half of the twentieth century. He was awarded a Medal of Freedom by President Gerald Ford in 1976, and a street in Berlin was named in his honor in 1984.
Leni Riefenstahl, 1936
SIPGPO_141014_450.JPG: James Cagney, 1899-1986
Bob Hope, 1903-2003
During World War II, the USO served as the troops' home away from home. On April 30, 1942, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invited "the Hollywood Victory Caravan" to the White House before it launched a film industry effort to raise money for Army-Navy relief funds. Fifty major Hollywood stars would eventually appear on the tour, including Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Olivia de Havilland, Groucho Marx, and Spencer Tracy.
Bob Hope was the caravan's emcee, and James Cagney, who had rallied America's patriotic spirit singing and dancing in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), was one of the stars who spent several weeks entertaining the troops. Shown here performing in a USO show with Hope, Cagney created a salute to "The American Cavalcade of Dance" that showcased American dance from its earliest days to Fred Astaire, culminating with Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Ultimately, the Hollywood Victory Caravan raised a billion dollars for Army and Navy relief agencies
Bud Fraker, 1943
SIPGPO_141014_465.JPG: Rita Hayworth, 1918-1987
Born Brooklyn, New York
When American troops set off to fight in World War II, many of them carried a pinup photograph of negilgee-clad Rita Hayworth that had appeared in an August 1941 Life magazine. It became an iconic wartime image, selling more than five million copies. Her beauty also had such general appeal that she became the image for Woodbury Cold Cream.
Hayworth began her career performing with her father as "The Dancing Cansinos," but by the early 1940s she had emerged as a Hollywood star in such films as The Strawberry Blonde (1941), Blood and Sand (1941), and You'll Never Get Rich (1941). With Cover Girl, a 1944 Technicolor musical that co-starred Gene Kelly, Hayworth became a top box-office star.
Gilda (1946) solidified Hayworth's image as "The Love Goddess." After World War II young scientists put the name "Gilda" on the first nuclear bomb detonated at Bikini Atoll -- a salute to Hayworth's popularity as a "bombshell" film star.
Unidentified artist, c 1945
SIPGPO_141014_468.JPG: Omar Bradley, 1893-1981
Born Clark, Missouri
After leading troops to victory in North Africa and Sicily, Omar Bradley was selected by General Dwight Eisenhower to command the First U.S. Army during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He was the architect of "Operation Cobra," which unleashed American troops across southern Normandy; under his direction, American forces liberated Paris and linked up with Soviet troops to force the collapse of Nazi forces on the Western Front, thereby defeating Germany in Europe.
In the final year of the war, Bradley commanded more troops than any general in American history -- in excess of 1.3 million soldiers. Eisenhower called him "the master tactician of our forces."
Bradley succeeded Eisenhower as U.S. Army Chief of Staff in 1948. The following year, he became the first-ever chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was promoted to the rank of five-star General of the Army in 1950.
Ernest Hamlin Baker, 1944
SIPGPO_141014_478.JPG: Oveta Culp Hobby, 1905-1995
Born Killeen, Texas
By her early thirties, Oveta Culp Hobby had helped to codify the banking laws of her native Texas, been an assistant to Houston's city attorney, and served as an editor and executive vice president of the Houston Post. When this portrait appeared on Time's cover in 1944, she was the commanding officer of the Women's Army Corps, charged with directing one of this country's first experiments in utilizing women in the military. The experiment was succeeding overall, and the performance of Hobby's WACs had long since disputed the initial spate of cynical remarks about women's unfitness for the military. Hobby's one disappointment was that the numbers of WAC enlistments had fallen well short of the army's original hopes. In 1953, and largely in recognition of her organizational skills, President Eisenhower appointed Hobby to head the newly created Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Ernest Hamlin Baker, 1944
SIPGPO_141014_485.JPG: John L. Lewis, 1880-1969
Labor leader John L. Lewis spent his career fighting for higher wages and workers' rights. As president of the United Mine Workers of American from 1920 to 1960, he was instrumental in elevating the political and economic standing of his constituents. Lewis also played a leading role in the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1935. Although many lionized him, he was often criticized, especially in 1943, when he led 500,000 mine workers on strike during the height of World War II. The action outraged the public and forced President Franklin Roosevelt to seize control of the mines.
SIPGPO_141014_497.JPG: Sam Rayburn, 1882-1961
Sam Rayburn served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for seventeen years, the longest tenure in American history. A Democrat from a poor farming family in northeast Texas, he was first elected to Congress in 1912 and served there for the next forty-nine years. Rayburn was a champion of President Roosevelt's New Deal programs and was elected Speaker for the first time in 1940. Although he wielded great power in this position, he preferred working behind the scenes with House members. Rayburn was also a close friend and mentor to fellow Texas Lyndon B. Johnson.
SIPGPO_141014_504.JPG: Bob Hope, 1903-2003
Born London, England
Bob Hope enjoyed a performing career that lasted more than eight decades. His first professional appearances were in vaudeville and on Broadway during the 1920s. In 1939 he hosted the Academy Awards ceremony for the first of eighteen occasions. By 1944, when this sculpture was completed, Hope was appearing regularly on radio, television, and in movies. He was also famous for his relationship with the U.S. military. Beginning in 1941, Hope performed regularly at USO shows. Some of his last appearances were for the troops during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91.
SIPGPO_141108_05.JPG: Richard Morris Hunt, 1827-1895
Born Brattleboro, Vermont
Richard Morris Hunt, who trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, was one of the most distinguished architects in late nineteenth-century America. As founder of the American Institute of Architects, he played a critical role in establishing higher standards for training in his profession. Hunt was at the height of his career when he met French sculptor Jean Gautherin in 1886. During that pivotal year Hunt designed a variety of notable buildings around the state of New York. This bust is signed and dated by Gautherin and inscribed "F. Barbedienne," for Ferdinand Barbedienne, the French metalworker, manufacturer, and established bronze founder.
Jean Gautherin, 1886
SIPGPO_141108_23.JPG: William Dunlap, 1766-1839
Born Perth Amboy, New Jersey
William Dunlap is now best known as America's first art historian. His History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States (1834) remains an essential account of early American culture and the arts. Dunlap studied art in London with Benjamin West, and while there he grew to love the theater. When he returned to America he pursued careers as both a dramatist and painter. This is one of three known miniature self-portraits of Dunlap and was likely created when he began to take commissions for miniatures, around 1805.
Self-portrait, c 1805
SIPGPO_141108_38.JPG: Georgia O'Keeffe, 1887-1986
Georgia O'Keeffe first traveled to that state in 1929 and moved there permanently in 1949, following the death of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. Although she achieved early success as a modernist painter living in the East, the landscape of the desert Southwest gave O'Keeffe her greatest inspiration. She painted familiar subjects such as flowers, adobe buildings, and objects found on walks around her remote home. Yet she did so in a unique way, often transforming common items into colorful abstractions with an emphasis on form and line. By the late 1940s, O'Keeffe was one of the best-known and original artists in America. An admirer once commented that she was like "the unflickering flame of a candle, steady, serene, softly brilliant," adding that she "faces the world unconcernedly 'as is.' "
Arnold Newman, 1968
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