September 12–December 23, 2011
Briscoe Center for American History, Austin, Texas
Research and Collections Reading Room
More than 35 photographs comprised Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate, a black-and-white documentary photo exhibit of 15 female lawmakers by photojournalist Melina Mara. Mara, a Seattle-based photojournalist, began photographing the 13 women senators who held office in 2001. In focused bursts, Mara traveled the country to document this defining period in the history of U.S. politics. At a time when access to national politicians is increasingly controlled, Mara persuaded a majority of the senators and their staffs to allow her to document the unprecedented role of women in the Senate, both behind the scenes and before mics and lights, capturing unique images of these 15 women senators at work on Capitol Hill.
Image Caption: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, 2002 copyright Melina Mara. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-TX), leads her daughter, Bailey, by the hand back to a line of fellow senators on the steps of the U.S. Capitol during a ceremony to remember the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.