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Picturing Political PowerImages in the Women's Suffrage Movement$
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Allison K. Lange

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226703244

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226703381.001.0001

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Setting the Standards

Setting the Standards

(p.11) 1: Setting the Standards
Picturing Political Power

Allison K. Lange

University of Chicago Press

Picturing Political Power tracks the ways that women gradually transformed public images of gender and political power. The story begins with portraits of Phillis Wheatley, Martha Washington, and Mary Wollstonecraft in late eighteenth-century America. These women secured power with the help of men, in this case owners, patrons, and husbands. Their exceptional public portraits contrasted with popular images of symbolic women, which emphasized their anonymity and idealized beauty. Late eighteenth-century imagery most often stressed feminine privacy and domesticity. The era’s most popular pictures connected elite white manhood with political leadership, which provided the foundation for American visions of power.

Keywords:   Phillis Wheatley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Martha Washington, gender, race, portraits, engravings, colonial America, early America, visual culture

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