“Prior to the 2018 midterms, the United States ranked 103 in the world in representation of women in the lower chamber, falling just behind Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. After the new Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2019, the United States ranked 76, with 23.4 percent of the House consisting of women.
Women holding elected positions is not just significant in the practical sense of having the opportunity to legislate. It also influences perceptions of who can and should hold power.
For most of recorded American history, political power has looked a certain way. Portraits of power call certain images to mind – those of older white men, dressed in suits and depicted in formal settings.
The portraits contained within [the project] document the women of the 116th Congress. Like the work of Kehinde Wiley, who painted Barack Obama’s official presidential portrait, these photographs evoke the imagery we are used to seeing in the halls of power but place the people not previously seen as powerful starkly in the frames.”
-Elizabeth D. Herman, The Women of the 116th Congress: Portraits of Power