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Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate

On display through April 10, 2021...

Melina Mara began photographing the thirteen women in the U.S. Senate in 2001, continuing as their number grew to fourteen in 2003. At a time when access to national politicians is increasingly controlled, Mara persuaded a majority of the senators to allow her to document the unprecedented role of women in the Senate, both behind the scenes and before microphones.

Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate, which opened at the Smithsonian Institution in 2003, includes informative text provided by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas conducted interviews with ten of the senators, which have been distilled into two audio presentations. A photography-based video presentation portrays exhibition images with narration by Melina Mara.

Changing the Face of Power is an exhibition by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas.

Changing the Face of Power is made possible in part by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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