Photo (of a painting) of the Day: The Women of the Supreme Court

Sonia Sotomayor (left) and Elena Kagan are shown standing behind Sandra Day O'Connor (left) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who are sitting. | AP Photo
A new painting depicts all of the four women who have ever, in the history of the United States, ever, ever, ever sat on the Supreme Court… ever! Can you name all of these women? 
Monday, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled this portrait of Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. The painting, an oil-on-canvas is by artist the Nelson Shanks  and was commissioned by art collectors Ian and Annette Cumming, who have leant it to the Smithsonian to display for three years.

Kim Sujet, the director of the National Portrait Gallery,  hopes the painting encourages discussion on “breaking barriers” for women and said,  “The scale of this painting speaks to the grand accomplishments made by these four women and the example they set for future generations… I imagine this portrait will spark a conversation among young people, particularly young women.”

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Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/shewalker/ Shelia Walker

    This portrait made me cry. When I was a little kid dreaming of being a lawyer, there never had been a woman on the US Supreme Court. These women are my mothers in law and I love them.

  • http://feministing.com/members/andejoh/ John

    “A new painting depicts all of the four women who have ever, in the history of the United States, ever, ever, ever sat on the Supreme Court… ever!”

    And when you can figure out how to change the past, we can work on correcting it. It’s also important to understand that the majority are currently serving. It’s important to know where we’ve come from, but it also important to understand that things are changing.