Life-Size Painting Featuring Female Supreme Court Justices Unveiled

The Lady Justices
The Lady Justices

Standing tall and proud in the National Portrait Galleries esteemed halls is a brand new portrait. A portrait painted by honored artist Nelson Shanks, portraying our four lady Justices. Sandra Day O?Conner, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg are portrayed in a Dutch Master styled painting, with a small touch of their own personalities.

Donned in their judicial black robes, the four lady Justices, sit somberly on a life size painting, in an attempt to kick off the new program aimed at showing how woman are making a huge difference in America. Museum Director, Kim Sajet, speaking about the painting and new program said:

Things are beginning to happen for woman. [The painting will hopefully], spark a conversation among young people, particularly young woman, about breaking barriers.

To add a bit of personal touch to the painting, each lady Supreme was painted with their signature neck piece, pointing out subtle personality differences in each Justice.

Justice Sandra Day O?Conner, donning a long lacy neck piece and seated in front, was the first woman to ever be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and held a moderately conservative view point. Seated next to her is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a strong advocate in gender equality and affirmative action.


Standing above these two greats is Sonia Sotomayor, a current lady Justice, and the first Latina woman to be awarded the position on the Supreme Court. Last, but not least, is Justice Elena Kagan, the newest addition to the Ladies of the Supreme Court.

Though the painting seems a little excessive, and kind of boring, I think it will do well sitting in the halls of the National Portrait Gallery. After all, it is the Supreme Court, which is not strewn with laughter and colorful streamers.

The painting does portray a very important point, something that has been a fight for hundreds of years, woman have to push harder, move quieter, and live seriously in order to achieve a position of this magnitude. There are no beers over dinner and leisurely golf games for the woman trying to ?find a place among men.? At least not yet.

Maybe one day the paintings of woman in the National Portrait Gallery will equal that of the hardened faces of men haunting its hallways. Until then, at least the lady Justices got to pick out their own neck attire, right?

What do you think?

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Written by Stephanie Kuklish

I am a 30 something writer passionate about politics, the environment, human rights and pretty much everything that effects our everyday life. To stay on top of the topics I discuss, like and follow me at and .