Amelia Earhart’s Enduring Image

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New York Times, June 10, 1928

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Vu, May 25, 1932

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[Flyer promoting Amelia Earhart’s speaking engagement in Tucson, Arizona], 1933 (Portrait by Ben Pinchot)

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Unidentified Photographer, [Amelia Earhart], 1936

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[Gap advertisement featuring Amelia Earhart ca. 1930 wearing khakis in front of her Lockheed Vega], Newsweek, October 18, 1993

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[Apple advertisement featuring Amelia Earhart ca. 1928], 1998

The subject of a major new biopic by director Mira Nair (and a 2007 ICP exhibition and catalogue), Amelia Earhart (1897–1937) and her achievements continue to fascinate people as much today as during the aviatrix’s lifetime. Although remembered for her 1937 disappearance as she attempted a grueling round-the-world flight, she gained fame as the first woman to cross the Atlantic, albeit as a passenger rather than a pilot, in 1928. Exactly five years after Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight, Earhart became the first woman to cross the Atlantic solo. A feminist and a flyer, Earhart broke aviation records and shattered traditional gender roles by wearing pants, offering her publisher-husband George Palmer Putnam a pre-nup agreement, and bankrolling her career through tireless promotion and speaking engagements. Earhart used her considerable fame to advance women’s issues and highlight the need for girls and women to pursue their career goals. Earhart’s unique image, as evidenced in ads for Gap and Apple, continues to suggest flight, adventure, and daring to each generation.

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About erinbarnett

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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