On October 28, 2013 the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled a new painting featuring the first women to serve on the Supreme Court.
The portrait, entitled The Four Justices, features current justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, as well as Sandra Day O’Connor who retired from the court in 2006.
Sandra Day O’Connor made history in 1981 when she when she became the first ever woman appointed to the Supreme Court.
The grand-scale oil painting by artist Nelson Shanks features the four women in an interior based on the Supreme Court Building. The artwork was commissioned by collectors Ian and Annette Cumming and is on loan to the museum for just three years, meaning it’s only there for one more year!
“The scale of this painting speaks to the grand accomplishments made by these four women and the example they set for future generations,” said Kim Sajet, director of the museum in a press release. “I imagine this portrait will spark a conversation among young people, particularly young women, about breaking barriers.”
In addition to the portrait, there is now also a web page dedicated to the painting where you can find interviews with the four justices, as well as educational lesson plans including “Gender Discrimination and The Supreme Court,” which can be used either in the classroom or while visiting the portrait at the National Portrait Gallery.
If you can see it, you can be it!
Correction: This article originally stated the portrait was unveiled this year. It was actually unveiled in 2013 and has been corrected.