President Lincoln by George Peter Alexander Healy, 1857. White House Collection, White House Historical Association. Portrait of Congresswoman Lauren Underwood by Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times, 2019

Shaping an Image: Political Women in History and Today


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Across history, women who inherit or are elected to positions of power have faced special challenges in distinguishing themselves from their male counterparts, or justifying their independent actions and platforms, often using the visual arts to emphasize specific characteristics or qualities. Featuring medieval scholar Elizabeth L’Estrange and political scientist and photojournalist Elizabeth D. Herman and moderated by art historian and curator Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, this conversation examines the importance of "image" in both conceptual and actual terms for women in politics.

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