The women of the Supreme Court are the subjects of a new painting unveiled at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday.I was 7 in 1981, when Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman nominated and appointed to the Supreme Court, and there was, naturally, much discussion among the adults in my sphere about her being the first. It was one of those key moments in my life as a female person, because I was old enough to understand that her being first meant that women hadn't been allowed.
..."The scale of this painting speaks to the grand accomplishments made by these four women and the example they set for future generations," museum director Kim Sajet said of the portrait. "I imagine this portrait will spark a conversation among young people, particularly young women, about breaking barriers."
Artist Nelson Shanks was commissioned by collectors Ian and Annette Cumming to paint the portrait. According to the Smithsonian, the painting is on loan to the museum for three years.
I can remember asking about whether a woman had been president, and feeling disappointed for reasons I didn't even fully understand when I was told no. Her nomination marks for me a point at which I began to realize that women had been kept out, a point at which I began to question why that was, and a point at which I first felt the burgeoning injustice that would bloom into my fiery feminism.