“The First Woman to Fly the Atlantic Alone”


Unidentified Photographer, [Amelia Earhart], ca. 1932 (1335.2005)


Vu, “La ‘Girl Lindbergh’ A Traversé L’Atlantique,” May 25, 1932, (2009.61.15)


Vanity Fair, “Miss Amelia Earhart: A new portrait by Steichen of the famed American flier who is now the wife of Mr. George Putnam, the publisher,” p.72, November 1931 (2006.18.26) (Photographer: Edward Steichen)

Although Amelia Earhart was a continuous source of fascination for human-interest journalists, she did not sit for many of the leading photographers of the day. Other than a few portraits by Edward Steichen, the foremost celebrity and fashion photographer on the Condé Nast staff, and mass-market image distributors like Underwood & Underwood, most pictures of Earhart were taken by little-known staff photographers at newspapers or wire services. (2006.18.26)


Vanity Fair, “Amelia Earhart Putnam – A Lady Lindbergh,” p. 47, July 1937 (2006.18.41) (Photographer: Edward Steichen)

This issue of Vanity Fair appeared in July 1932, shortly after Amelia Earhart returned from her record-breaking flight. (2006.18.41)


Unidentified Photographer, [Amelia Earhart and George Putnam, Paris], late May or early June 1932, (1354.2005)

After a stop in London, Amelia Earhart continued on to Paris, the original destination of her cross-Atlantic flight. George Palmer Putnam joined her there and accompanied her to Rome for meetings with Mussolini and the pope. Then they traveled to Brussels for lunch with the king and queen of Belgium.


The New York Times, Mid-Week Pictorial, “The First Woman to Fly the Atlantic Alone,” p.11, June 4, 1932 (2006.18.38)

The First Woman to Fly the Atlantic Alone

All Set For Her Second Flight Across The Atlantic: Mrs. Putnam. Photographed with Bernt Balchen, Bryd’s South Pole Pilot, Just Before She Took Off on Her Solo Flight to Europe.

Congratulations for the “Lone Lady of the Air”: Mrs. Amy O. Earhart, Mother of the First Woman to Fly the Atlantic Alone, and Mrs. Albert Morrissey, Sister of the Aviatriz, Opening a Part of the Mail That Poured Into Their Home at Medford, Mass., After the Flight.

The Feminine “Lone Eagle” Ready to Wing Her Way Across the Atlantic: Mrs. Amelia Earhart Putnam in a Pose Reminiscent of the Lindbergh Flight, Just Before She Took Off from Harbor Grace, N.F. on the Hop That Ended Near Londonderry, Ireland, Making Her the First Woman to Fly Across the Atlantic Alone/ She Made the Trip in 13 1/2 Hours, the fastest Atlantic Crossing on Record, and Also Set a New Women’s Distance Flight Mark of 2,026.5 Miles.


National Geographic, “The Society’s Special Medal Awarded to Amelia Earhart,” September 1932 (2006.18.21)

“On May 20-21, 1932, Earhart became the first woman—and the only person since Charles Lindbergh—to fly nonstop and alone across the Atlantic. Flying her red Lockheed Vega […] she left Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada, and landed 15 hours later near Londonderry, Northern Ireland.” (airandspace.si.edu.)

The above objects, and more, were included in the ICP exhibition Amelia Earhart: Image and Icon (May 11 – September 9, 2007).

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