Amelia Earhart, 1932 in the Most Beautiful Leather Jacket

1081 (SITE) Amelia Earhart 1932.jpg
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1081 (SITE) Amelia Earhart 1932.jpg
1081 (FRAME).jpg

Amelia Earhart, 1932 in the Most Beautiful Leather Jacket

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Amelia Earhart sitting for the New York Times Studio Cameras, 1932

Amelia was certainly the most well known of the Aviatrix, but few of these women were immune from injury and death.  She was one of the biggest celebrities of her era and was courted by the press, kings and queens, and followed by an excited public who dared imagine stepping into her glamorous and yet dangerous shoes.  To me, this complexity comes through magnificently in the photo.  Amelia has this grin seen in so many of the photos - these women were happy and passionate about flying, and at the same time she's sitting for the world's most famous paper sheathed in this voluptuous, stunning leather jacket.  Facing the camera so directly, it makes me wonder what she was thinking when she died - was that grin present at that moment?  Did the rewards of flying and breaking gender barriers make her death somehow less tragic?

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Archivast photographs are selected as limited editions by our family of curators and our staff - all of whom are known for their critical eye.

Photograph reprinted by permission from The New York Times®.  Copyright © 2014 The New York Times.  All rights reserved.